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Littlefield to lead Principal’s retirement savings business; Schaff to retire


Principal Financial Group announced that Chris Littlefield has been named president of its Retirement and Income Solutions business, effective April 1. This follows the decision of Renee Schaaf, current president of RIS, to retire after more than 41 years with the company. Littlefield joined Principal in January 2020 as executive vice president and general counsel, and also serves as corporate secretary to the board of directors. He previously was president and CEO of two life insurance and annuity companies, Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Holdings and Aviva USA Corp.

“When we asked Chris to join Principal as general counsel, we were keenly aware of his depth of operational and leadership experience, in addition to his legal expertise, and considered this in our succession planning,” said Dan Houston, chairman, president and CEO of Principal. “Chris has a proven track record of leading large, complex financial organizations and teams. I’m confident he’s the right leader to grow our retirement business, create value across our lines of business, and champion digital transformation for the benefit of our plan sponsors and participants.”

Littlefield will be responsible for leading the retirement business at Des Moines-based Principal, serving the retirement savings and income needs of more than 40,000 employers and 10 million individual customers.

Mark Lagomarcino, who previously was senior vice president and deputy general counsel, will step into the general counsel role as part of Littlefield’s transition. He will also serve as corporate secretary to the board.

Schaaf departs Principal after serving in key leadership roles across the organization. Most recently, she led Principal through the transformation of its retirement business with the acquisition and integration of the Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. Before RIS, Schaaf led strategy and business development as chief operating officer for Principal International as well as several other roles across the company’s retirement and previous health insurance division.

“Renee led our retirement business through a period of significant growth, advancing the business to industry-leading market positions,” Houston said. “She helped us build on the success of our retirement business during a time of unprecedented transformation, while helping to support our employees and customers through the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. We wish her all the best in retirement.”

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