J. Barry Griswell
J. Barry Griswell is the former chairman, president, and CEO of the Principal Financial Group. He was responsible for overall management of the company, including capital markets activities, U.S. asset management and accumulation, international asset management and accumulation, life and health, mortgage banking, government relations and industry relations, the company's growing merger and acquisition activities, and corporate support functions.
Griswell joined the company in 1988 as an officer and agency vice president. He became senior vice president in 1991 and executive vice president in 1996. In 1998 he was named president, in 2000 he became CEO, and in 2002 he was named chairman of the board. Prior to his association with the Principal Financial Group, he served as president and CEO of MetLife Marketing Corporation, a brokerage and supplementary distribution marketing susidiary of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Griswell is active in a variety of industry and community organizations, including serving on the board of the American Council of Life Insurers, the American Council for Capital Formation, and the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education. He is a trustee of Central College in Pella, Iowa, and Berry College in Rome, Ga. He is a director of the Business Committee for the Arts and a board member of The Business Roundtable. He also serves as president of the Federation of Iowa Insurers and chair of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
In 2003 Griswell was named a Horatio Alger Association Distinguished American Award winner. He has been inducted into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame, is a member of the United Way of America National Tocqueville Council, and is a recipient of the national Alexis de Tocqueville Society award. He received the Oscar C. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award in 2003.
A native of Georgia, Griswell received a bachelor's degree from Berry College, Rome, Ga., and a master's degree from Stetson University, Deland, Fla. He and his wife, Michele, are the parents of two sons.