Principal Financial Group

  www.principal.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Principal Financial Group Reviews

Updated Jul 21, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 180 reviews

84% Approve of the CEO

Principal Financial Group Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Larry D. Zimpleman

Larry D. Zimpleman

(113 ratings)

76% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • work life balance, collaborative work culture, approachable leadership, good salaries(in 38 reviews)

  • Great benefits, which is nice because salaries are less than annual averages(in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Parking is a little ways away since we're located in downtown Des Moines(in 11 reviews)

  • could make work environment more appealing such as offering ergonomic options to offices and desks (although this is currently in progress)(in 6 reviews)

180 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Average/Good company overall; be aware of what dept you work in, make a huge difference(stay away from RIS)

    Marketing Specialist (Current Employee) Des Moines, IA

    Pros-Salary is competitive in most roles (compared to large markets)
    -PTO and general benefits are great, best I've seen or had
    -Plenty of non work functions; cheap tickets, socials, etc
    -Several gyms and locker rooms(very outdated though but are about to remodel), Upper Mgmt is proactive with health
    -dining options

    Cons-Each dept is run COMPLETELY different
    -Numerous people in roles they are not qualified for or have 0 experience in
    -promotions and salary are based on time at PFG, not your skill set or performance;
    hard to get a fair look when wanting to change areas, pigeon holed to same area for long time unless VP/C level. A lot of people in same role/area for 10+ yrs. get title promotions is all!
    -people can just hide behind monitor or not be at desk and float by
    -Mgmt makes up meetings so they don't have to work, pass off tasks to those below, Mgmt does very little, just talk about things and do nothing
    -people are ask to meetings they have no business being in; politics and kissing!
    -culture is promoted but it is not the best; a lot of talk but no walk
    -Downtown traffic and not much for attractions
    -Remodel is going to take a long time and cause a lot of headaches
    -dining is expensive

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook at what you managers actually do! I don't mean C level either. VP's, directors, asst directors, asst managers don't do anything in the dept's i know. most are unqualified for their roles & ask others (in lower roles) what they should do. Get buy in from lower levels and stop glad handing "management" (used loosely)

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Compensation

    IT Applications Analyst Senior (Former Employee) Des Moines, IA

    ProsGreat benefits. Work cuulture is one of the best.

    ConsLow salaries. Not close to market.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Overall good ethical company

    Client Transactions (Current Employee) Raleigh, NC

    ProsGood benefits, work/life benefits, concern for individual

    ConsLimited advancement potential in my area

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Quality company...but not for everyone

    Financial Representative (Former Employee) West Des Moines, IA

    ProsGreat facility, support staff, first class environment

    ConsMy personal experience was that during my recruitment, I didn't fully understand the role prior to accepting an offer - that was my responsibility. In my defense, it is truly difficult to fully understand any role without actually doing it. I based my decision on generalities rather than hard facts and I probably added some ego in the mix as well.

    With 10 years prior experience in B2B Outside Sales, I felt that my understanding of people and general business acumen would be sufficient to allow me to be successful. I was wrong.

    My hope was to develop my book of business as more of an "assets under management" type model with insurance as an added necessity. Slow, patient, sustainable growth built on willing referrals. My personal situation was that I could afford to be patient with the growth.

    It is said that insurance is never purchased, but always sold. I understand now... No one wants insurance. It's not an exciting product and it involves self evaluation on the clients part, which let's face it; no one loves to do. Also the strategies that were encouraged, involved obvious leading questions into how a person would feel if they didn't make it home that night etc. Not trying to place a moral judgment on this, but it just felt manipulative and unnecessary.

    I guess that I much prefer a straight business proposition - this is who I am, this is why I'm here, and this is why I'm the best choice for your business solution. With insurance there is very little proprietary about your product. There's not much benefit from one provider to the next other than consumer trust in your brand.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI wasn't successful, so my opinion would carry less weight in your eyes. If I had an audience with a decision maker, I would question that the resources put toward continuous recruitment and training could be better used to offer a salary with limited income potential (instead of unlimited) to promote consistency and increase trust from the clients point of view.

    Having a few Million Dollar reps, several in the 300k to 200k range, 10+ over 100K range and the vast majority making less than 40K is less beneficial to the business and less cost effective than having 30+ making 100k to 150K.

    In my opinion the demographic you're looking for in this role is absolutley not a relationship builder. To be succesful, it's very much a transactional business.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    A Great place to Work

    Financial Representative (Former Employee) Downers Grove, IL

    ProsA very personable and respectful work atmosphere. The managers are completely dedicated in your success.

    ConsI do not have any negative comments.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEveryone in the office did a great job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Worse place I have ever worked

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsBenefits were the only positive thing I had while employed there

    ConsHorrible management. They talk down to you and bully you. The HR dept seems to only be there to support the managers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Some good, some bad

    Senior Client Transaction Tech (Former Employee) Des Moines, IA

    ProsMostly good people to work with.

    ConsThey keep taking things away that made it a great place to work. They say that they offer telecommuting and the opportunity to change your hours as needed. But that's not true. Also they do not offer changes for advancement as much as they say they do. Knew many people stuck in the same job for 20 years. I was there for five and could not get moved to a more challenging position.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive back what you took and work with those who want to advance.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great Company

    Investment Counselor (Current Employee) Des Moines, IA

    ProsAn investment counselor position at Principal gives you the chance to earn all of your licensing, pick up sales experience, and make a nice salary.

    ConsNone. Don't apply for this position if you don't like sales or have a strong drive.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great learning experience.

    Intern (Current Employee) Des Moines, IA

    ProsThey have lots of opportunities and event just for the interns - networking, continuing education, and fun activities.

    ConsI don't have anything bad to say about it at all.

    Advice to Senior ManagementN/A

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Career redo

    Financial Advisor (Current Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsMidwestern sensibilities. Well managed. Great culture. Support and encourage entrepreneurship. Best or next best-in-class in all core competencies: Retirement, insurance and investments. Great benefits. Great overall employee experience.

    ConsAt times cautious to their detriment. With few exceptions their platform--pricing and client solutions--are available to captive and non-captive advisors alike.
    Captive advisors, while we are open architecture (full access to non-Principal products), there is an over-emphasis via compensation disparity to favor PFG whenever possible. Coming from twenty year advisor and management wirehouse background where proprietary product favoritism was regulated out of existence, unsure how they get away with it. But who am I to complain?
    Statutory employee--employer relationship (advisors are essentially contract employees with full benefits), while appealingly flexible for advisors, is said to be not-so-much in the eyes of the IRS!

    Advice to Senior ManagementMine has a tendency to over-promise. I think they could also benefit from making more of an effort to keep the stresses of management, particularly things that crowd out--even if only perceived by the advisors--time and advisor space ought to be kept to themselves. "If it doesn't directly impact my world, or negatively does so, I don't want to hear about it. And I sure don't want you using it as an excuse where my wellbeing is concerned."

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Worked for Principal Financial Group? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.