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The 2015 Tech 50: Gary Scholten

The Principal Financial Group chief information officer jumps to No. 34 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

Gary Scholten
Chief Information Officer
Principal Financial Group

Running technology for Principal Financial Group, which has 19.9 million customers around the world, would seem to be enough of a handful for Gary Scholten, chief information officer since 2002 and head of corporate strategy since 2012. It takes an information technology team of 2,600, including 500 in India, to keep up with the systems development, operational and innovation requirements of this diversified investment management, retirement services and insurance enterprise with a total of $530 billion in assets under management. But Scholten, a 35-year veteran of the Des Moines, Iowa–based company, doesn’t confine his concerns and responsibilities to within the proverbial four walls of the firm. He is constantly on what might be called cyberalert, having gone so far as to call data security an obsession. “Everybody is responsible for security, not just the information security department,” Scholten, 57, declares. Indeed, Principal provides extensive security training to its nearly 15,000 employees, is an active member of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center and supports legislation to encourage more sharing of threat intelligence. Scholten also worries about the future workforce, saying, “We are not graduating enough people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and economic growth will be held back if we don’t address this.” He has rallied to the cause as a member of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council (of which Google, IBM Corp. and Principal, among others, are corporate partners). A Principal product innovation with a public service flavor is the Retirement Wellness Score, which draws on behavioral economics to nudge clients toward improved later-life solvency. “We have this problem of people not being ready for retirement,” says Scholten. “We can positively disrupt that trend.”

See the full story, “The 2015 Tech 50: Racers to the Edge.”

The 2015 Tech 50

1. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange
2. Catherine Bessant
Bank of America Corp.
3. Phupinder Gill
CME Group
4. Lance Uggla
5. Robert Goldstein
6. Shawn Edwards &
Vlad Kliatchko
7. R. Martin Chavez
Goldman Sachs Group
8. Deborah Hopkins
Citi Ventures
9. Stephen Neff
Fidelity Investments
10. Adena Friedman
Nasdaq OMX Group
11. David Craig
Thomson Reuters
12. Daniel Coleman
KCG Holdings
13. Michael Spencer
14. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
15. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Chris Concannon
BATS Global Markets
17. Christopher Perretta
State Street Corp.
18. Antoine Shagoury
London Stock Exchange Group
19. Kevin Rhein
Wells Fargo & Co.
20. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw & Co.
21. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets
22. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings
23. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings
24. Robert Alexander
Capital One Financial Corp.
25. Frank Bisignano
First Data Corp.
26. John Marcante
Vanguard Group
27. Joseph Squeri
28. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group
29. Claude Honegger
Credit Suisse
30. Chris Corrado
31. David Gledhill
DBS Bank
32. John Bates
Software AG
33. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz
34. Gary Scholten
Principal Financial Group
35. Sunil Hirani
trueEX Group
36. Hauke Stars
Deutsche BÖrse
37. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives
38. Jim Minnick
39. Lars Seier Christensen & Kim Fournais
40. Tyler Kim
41. Jim McGuire
Charles Schwab Corp.
42. Steven O'Hanlon
43. Sebastián Ceria
44. Yasuki Okai
NRI Holdings America
45. Stephane Dubois
46. Mazy Dar
47. Brian Sentance
Xenomorph Software
48. Mas Nakachi
49. John Lehner
BNY Mellon Technology Solutions Group
50. Jock Percy

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