Principal Financial Group has elevated regional presidents Roberto Walker (Latin America) and Thomas Cheong (Asia) of Principal International to its executive management team. Walker and Cheong will report to Dan Houston, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Principal.
The global financial investment management and insurance company also announced the retirement of Luis Valdés as CEO and president of Principal International.
Walker, based in Santiago, Chile, and Cheong, based in Hong Kong, bring direct, local perspectives on regional market dynamics and customer preferences which will help inform new solutions and distribution pathways in and outside of their markets, the group says in a statement.
“We’re excited to add strong, international leaders to our executive management team who have deep understanding of our customers – across markets, customer segments, and product lines – and will help to build our voice and expertise as a global retirement leader,” says Houston.
Walker, senior vice president and president of Principal Latin America, and Cheong, senior vice president and president of Principal Asia, are promoted to executive vice presidents as part of the changes, effective January 1.
Walker joined Principal in 1996 and has led Latin America for Principal International since 2011. Cheong joined Principal in 2015 as vice president of North Asia for Principal International and took over leadership responsibilities for the entire Asia region in 2019.
Valdés will retire on March 31, after 26 years with Principal serving in several global leadership roles. He led Principal International as president and CEO the past nine years – driving significant growth in Latin America and Asia, including several major acquisitions for Principal to grow its footprint in key emerging markets.
Valdés will serve as chairman of the Principal International board for two years following his retirement.