The Principal Financial Group Announces Executive Succession At Principal International

Norman R. Sorensen named Chairman, Principal International; Luis Valdes named President and CEO, Principal International; Roberto Walker named President, Principal International Latin America

DES MOINES, Iowa, Mar 01, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

As part of its planned succession process, the Principal Financial Group(R) announced Norman R. Sorensen, formerly president of Principal International Inc., has been named chairman of Principal International. Luis Valdes, formerly president, Principal International Latin America, succeeds Sorensen as president and CEO of Principal International. Roberto Walker, who served as chief operating officer, Principal International Latin America, succeeds Valdes in the role of President, Principal International Latin America. The promotions are effective immediately.

According to Larry D. Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO of The Principal(R), "During his tenure here, Norman Sorensen has led Principal International to achieve tremendous growth and profitability. These management changes are a natural next step in our ongoing efforts to extend our retirement and asset accumulation leadership in key emerging markets," Zimpleman said. "The changes further strengthen Principal International's proven management team, which will allow us to continue the rapid growth for Principal International in the years ahead."

Since Sorensen joined The Principal in 1998, Principal International has grown from an aspirational business to contributing $137 million in operating earnings in 2010, representing 16 percent of total earnings of The Principal. Principal International assets under management have grown at a 35 percent compounded annual growth rate since the year 2000 to today's level of $52.7 billion in assets under management (including China).

Sorensen commented, "Principal International has remarkable growth opportunities in Asia and Latin America where we already have a 10-year track record. Luis Valdes is highly qualified to lead our international business, which leverages strong local partners with outstanding distribution to allow us to go deeper and broader into key emerging markets."

Prior to joining The Principal, Sorensen held senior international marketing and management positions at American International Group, American Express Company and Citigroup. Sorensen is a member of the Boards of Directors of Principal Asset Management Company and Principal Insurance Company (Hong Kong), BrasilPrev Seguros & PrevidĂȘncia (Brazil), Principal Vida (Chile), Principal-PNB Asset Management Company (India), Principal International, Inc., (U.S.), Principal AFORE and Principal Life (Mexico). Sorensen is chairman of the International Insurance Society; former chairman of the Global & Trade Committee of the Financial Services Roundtable, former chairman of the Coalition of Service Industries, former chairman of the International Committee of the American Council of Life Insurers, and a member of the board of directors of Sara Lee Corporation. Sorensen is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and Columbia University's Executive Program for International Managers.

Valdes has been associated with The Principal since 1991 when he was managing director of BanRenta Compania de Seguros de Vida, which later was purchased by Principal International to become Principal Vida Chile. Prior to BanRenta, Valdes was an insurance market consultant for The World Bank, Intendente de Seguros (Insurance Commissioner) in Chile. Valdes holds a bachelor's degree in industrial and civil engineering from Universidad de Chile, and an MBA from Universidad de Navarra (IESE) in Barcelona, Spain. He is a professor of business politics and business management at various universities in Chile.

Walker joined the company in 1996. He has served in several roles including chief investment officer and chief financial officer, Chile, and country head, Mexico, where he oversaw a number of businesses. Prior to joining Principal Chile, he was chief investment officer of Citibank Global Asset Management and managing director of Citibank Asset Management in Chile. Walker holds a bachelor's degree in business administration specializing in economics and finance from Universidad de Chile.

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About the Principal Financial Group
The Principal Financial Group(R) (The Principal(R))1 is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $318.8 billion in assets under management2 and serves some 19.1 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit

1"The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
2As of Dec. 31, 2010.

SOURCE: The Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group
Susan Houser, 515-248-2268