Kara Hoogensen

Kara Hoogensen

Kara Hoogensen is a senior vice president with Principal Financial Group®, in charge of Specialty Benefits for U.S. Insurance Solutions (USIS). She is responsible for group benefits, a business area she previously led as vice president, as well as the individual disability income business line and the sales compensation administration area.

Kara joined Principal in 1996 as a Junior Pension Underwriter. She was promoted to Assistant Pension Underwriter in 1998 and to Pension Consultant in 2000. After a year with Merck & Co., Inc. as a Professional Representative, Kara re-joined Principal in May 2001 as a Business Development Consultant. In January 2007, she moved to the position of Strategy Director in Corporate Strategy. She joined Principal Funds in June 2008 as a Strategy Director. Kara was named Director - Defined Contribution Investment Only (DCIO) in July 2011 and was promoted to Managing Director – Investment Only in March 2012. She was promoted to Chairman, President and CEO of Principal Bank and Principal Trust Company in June 2014 and became President and CEO of Principal Securities, Inc. in March 2015. From late 2015 through June 2018, she also led a cross-business unit team that navigated the largest regulatory change for the financial services industry since the 1970s (the Department of Labor fiduciary regulation). She assumed the role of SVP, Specialty Benefits in February 2020.

Kara received her bachelor's degree from Central College in 1996. She has earned her Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefits and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation. Kara was named to the Des Moines Business Record’s “Forty Under Forty” in the spring of 2009 for her professional and civic accomplishments, was selected to attend the inaugural Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in December 2014 and attended the inaugural G100 Women’s Leadership Acceleration (WLA) program in December 2016, continuing to participate in the WLA Network through June 2018. In December 2018, Kara completed the Harvard Business School program “Leading and Building a Culture of Innovation” and was named to the board of directors for Limelight Health, Inc., a California-based quoting, underwriting, and proposal platform for the employee benefits industry.
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Interviews with Kara Hoogensen»See allInterviews RSS Feed

Kara Hoogensen joins Jim Blasingame to report on how small business owners recognized that they had to focus even more on the emotional/mental well-being of their employees during the pandemic.
Kara Hoogensen joins Jim Blasingame to report that small business employers worked harder to take care of the benefits side of their relationships with employees.
Kara Hoogensen joins Jim Blasingame to report that the November responses indicate less optimism than earlier in the year, especially in comparing rural and urban respondents.