Principal Highlights Diversification

National Underwriter News
December 10, 2008


A Midwestern insurer says it continues to be financially stable and has limited or no exposure to risk factors such as variable annuity guarantees and securities lending transactions.

Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines Iowa, says it will be cutting about 250 jobs in its headquarters offices and 45 jobs in other locations, or about 3.5% of its total workforce.

But company executives said today at an investor day conference that the company remains strong.

Net cash flow into U.S. asset accumulation products, including mutual funds and individual annuities, has increased to $6.6 billion for the first 9 months of 2008, up 32% from the total for the comparable period in 2007, the executives said, according to a copy of their presentation handout filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company has only limited exposure to embedded VA guarantees, and it has no general account securities lending program, the company said.

The company also has only limited to subprime residential mortgages and securities with ratings below investment grade, the company said.

Life and health earnings are up about 23% year to date, and opportunities for growth remain in the voluntary benefits and consumer-driven health care markets, the company said.

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