EP 07 – Kim Pfiffner – Principal Financial Group – The Work We Do Here Matters


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 130 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Kim Pfiffner

Kim Pfiffner is Vice President and Chief Information Officer of U.S. Benefits & Protection with Principal Financial Group®. Pfiffner has responsibility for the information technology areas that support the U.S. Benefits & Protection division at Principal. She is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI). Pfiffner joined Principal® in 1991 in a developer role in Information Technology. She has held many leadership roles, including leading Data Services, Enterprise Architecture, Application Development and Support, Information Services Project Office, Enterprise Data and Applications, and Group Benefits. She assumed her current position in 2020.

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InsurTech Amplified spoke with Kim Pfiffner, VP and CIO of Benefits and Protection at Principal Financial Group, about her insights from her extensive 32-year journey with the company.

Throughout the discussion, Kim highlights the transformative role of technology in the insurance sector. She passionately speaks to how technology not only enhances but elevates the capabilities of professionals without overshadowing the human touch.

Drawing parallels with customer-centric giants like Amazon, Kim elaborates on the nuanced ways technology has reshaped customer experiences, both for external clients and internally within companies. She paints a vivid picture of the stark technological evolution in workplaces.

The conversation then delves into the nuances of recruiting in today’s digitally-driven landscape and the intricate dance between traditional insurance entities and burgeoning insurtech startups.

Furthermore, Kim dives into the concept of value chain innovation, emphasizing the delicate balance between innovation, risk management, and data security in the insurance world.

Concluding on a thought-provoking note, Kim stresses the importance of decision-making, reiterating the profound impact of technology in cultivating unparalleled customer experiences and molding the intrinsic culture of a company.

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