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Principal Financial Group Assistant Director-Internal Audit in Des Moines, Iowa

What You'll Do

We’re looking for an Assistant Director to join our Internal Audit team. In this role, you’ll lead and drive the development and execution of Principal’s enterprise audit plan using a risk-based approach. Support achievement of departmental and enterprise strategies by owning the execution of risk management and assurance services across Principal’s global enterprise.

  • Audit Oversight, Leadership & Execution

  • Lead the evaluation of key risks that impact overall strategies and objectives, including examination of key processes and application controls. This includes delegating and overseeing work performed by other team members.

  • Identify key risks, controls, and testing strategies to effectively assess current environment. Recommend audits, including scope, timing & budget based on risk assessment. Engage management in assessing approaches for mitigating new and/or complex risks in the dynamic business/technology environment. Assist in developing this acumen in other audit team members.

  • Leverage data and analytics to drive additional insight and efficiency in the analysis of audit subjects.

  • Lead and drive concurrent projects that have high complexity. Excel in planning and prioritizing tasks between competing activities.

  • Communication

  • Leverage effective communication (written or oral) to reflect relevant facts from audit execution. Present audit results and professional opinions in an objective and unbiased manner to stakeholders including executive management. Coach other auditors on appropriate communication methods and approaches.

  • Knowledge of the Business

  • Understand and apply common control frameworks (COSO, NIST, etc.) or other criteria needed to assess control effectiveness. Build and maintain a working knowledge of corporate policies and procedures. Interact with staff and management at all levels, gathering required information and soliciting insights to help assess key risks and controls. Develop in-depth knowledge of Principal’s products, services, and strategies to promote effective targeting of key risks and related audit work.

  • Strategy, Planning & Risk Assessment

  • Help develop strategy and drive execution of those strategic efforts within Principal’s global environment. These include efforts focused on driving effectiveness and efficiency at departmental, business segment, and organizational levels.

  • Help drive audit planning and risk assessment efforts within the team to align audit work with strategic priorities of the enterprise and meet audit coverage needs. Communicate insights gathered from on-going audit work and networking with business unit leaders to inform the audit plan and work with audit leadership to position initial definition of audit scope.

  • Collaboration

  • Develop and maintain excellent business relationships within Internal Audit and with the global Principal community, especially at business unit leadership levels (e.g., VP levels). Engage and maintain candid relationships with external stakeholders (external audit, regulator). Present to subsidiary boards and management committees.

  • Challenge audit scope/focus to align with business objectives and professional standards. Quickly assess which objectives are most impactful to company strategy, leverage professional judgement to align audit work to reflect on those objectives, and effectively escalate significant issues and risk exposures to appropriate levels of management.

  • Influence

  • Evaluate and negotiate appropriate solutions to complex problems identified by assurance activities.

  • Support building culture of continuous improvement, helping to identify and address areas for department improvement.

  • Lead

  • Recruit, lead, motivate, empower, and develop knowledgeable and productive staff. Value the contributions of team members, including providing candid feedback and/or coaching to develop team members & enhance overall department impact. Coordinate use of the right audit resources to deliver meaningful value. Work with Professional Practices team to meet staff development needs. Ensure consistency and quality of work product by following department process, methodologies, and reporting standards.

Operating at the intersection of financial services and technology, Principal builds financial tools that help our customers live better lives. We take pride in being a purpose-led firm, motivated by our mission to make financial security accessible to all. Our mission, integrity, and customer focus have made us a trusted leader for more than 140 years!

Who You Are

  • A bachelor’s degree and 10+ years of progressive experience in Internal Audit.

  • Strong understanding of audit, risk and control concepts and the ability to effectively assess, document and communicate work performed.

  • A depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding across key aspects of the business operations in support of credibility, relationship management and impact of audit work.

  • Ability to develop understanding in other critical subject areas including technical business matters, technology concepts, etc.

  • Leadership, influence, and effective challenge skills across all levels of management including executive leadership when presenting audit results and addressing questions/concerns from key stakeholders.

  • Proven experience in developing and executing strategic projects.

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) or equivalent certification preferred.

  • Experience leading project delivery and execution.

  • Proficiency in internal auditing principles and best practices, with specific working knowledge of accepted control frameworks, including COSO.

  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills with domestic and globally oriented teams.

  • Travel may be required.

Salary Range Information

Salary ranges below reflect targeted base salaries. Non-sales positions have the opportunity to participate in a bonus program. Sales positions are eligible for sales incentives, and in some instances a bonus plan, whereby total compensation may far exceed base salary depending on individual performance. Actual compensation for all roles will be based upon geographic location, work experience, education, licensure requirements and/or skill level and will be finalized at the time of offer.

Salary Range (Non-Exempt expressed as hourly; Exempt expressed as yearly)

$123000 - $167000 / year

Time Off Program

Flexible Time Off (FTO) is provided to salaried (exempt) employees and provides the opportunity to take time away from the office with pay for vacation, personal or short-term illness. Employees don’t accrue a bank of time off under FTO and there is no set number of days provided.

Pension Eligible


Additional Information

Work Environments

This role offers an in-office and hybrid (blending at least three office days in a typical workweek) work arrangement in Des Moines, IA.

Work Authorization/Sponsorship

At this time, we're not considering applicants that need any type of immigration sponsorship (additional work authorization or permanent work authorization) now or in the future to work in the United States. This includes, but IS NOT LIMITED TO: F1-OPT, F1-CPT, H-1B, TN, L-1, J-1, etc. For additional information around work authorization needs please use the following links.

Nonimmigrant Workers ( and Green Card for Employment-Based Immigrants (

Investment Code of Ethics

For Principal Asset Management positions, you’ll need to follow an Investment Code of Ethics related to personal and business conduct as well as personal trading activities for you and members of your household. These same requirements may also apply to other positions across the organization.

Experience Principal

At Principal, we value connecting on both a personal and professional level. Together, we’re imagining a more purpose-led future for financial services – and that starts with you. Our success depends on the unique experiences, backgrounds, and talents of our employees. And we support our employees the same way we support our customers: with comprehensive, competitive benefit offerings crafted to protect their physical, financial, and social well-being. Check out our careers site ( to learn more about our purpose, values and benefits.

Principal is an Equal Opportunity Employer

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.

Posting Window

We will accept applications for 3 full days following the Original Posting Date, after which the posting may remain open or be removed based upon applications received. If we choose to post the job again, we will accept additional applications for at least 1 full day following the Most Recently Posted Date. Please submit applications in a timely manner as there is no guarantee the posting will be available beyond the applicable deadline.

Original Posting Date


Most Recently Posted Date