Skip to Content

Principal CEO: Gain Trust By Giving Back to Community

Ask anyone what matters most when it comes to investing their money. Chances are trust, and maybe a bit of hope, will be the top answer. So it makes sense that gaining consumer trust is a key focus for personal financial companies—and it starts by being involved in the community in which they serve.

Dan Houston, CEO of global investment management and insurance company Principal Financial Group, says giving back to the community is a mantra for his company. “It starts with legacy,” Houston says, “and Principal is nearing 140 years with a longstanding history of giving back. And it’s global.”

In an effort to be more involved in the community, Principal gives employees 8 hours each year as time off to use to volunteer in their communities. “Before, this was done through payroll deduction,” says Houston, underscoring the importance of actual involvement in the community.

Houston believes addressing social issues has to be taken seriously: “We talk about it in the boardroom—diversity and inclusion is a standard practice, and our leadership must look like our customers.”

Watch the video above for more from Fortune’s interview with Houston.

Members Only” is a video series showcasing executives in Fortune’s membership communities. For more information on how to become a member, visit our pages for Brainstorm Tech, the CEO Initiative, or Most Powerful Women.