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Principal Backs Disaster Fund

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An Iowa insurer is trying to help its home state recover from the recent flooding.

Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, has pledged $1 million to the Embrace Iowa – 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, a new flood recovery effort.

The fund is an arm of the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation and has started with $3.2 million in contributions and pledges from individuals and businesses.

Principal Chairman J. Barry Griswell is the co-chairman of another entity, the 2008 Iowa Disaster Collaborative. Pat Baird, chairman of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based operations of AEGON N.V., The Hague, Netherlands, also serves on the collaborative team, Principal says.

Principal notes that it has affected offices in the Iowa cities of Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Mason City and Waterloo, and employees in Parkersburg who lost homes.

“I’ve seen the damage first-hand and the magnitude of the disaster is staggering,” Griswell says in a statement. “We’re glad to help with this donation from The Principal Financial Group Foundation and we encourage other Iowa businesses to do the same.”