Description of the Registrants Securities Registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
DESCRIPTION OF THE REGISTRANT’S SECURITIES REGISTERED
UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Principal Financial Group, Inc. (“we,” “our” or “us”) has one class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended: our common stock, par value $0.01 per share.
Description of Common Stock
The following description of our common stock is a summary and does not purport to be complete. It is our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (“certificate of incorporation”), our Amended and Restated By-Laws (“by-laws”) and the Delaware General Corporation Law, and not this summary, which define the rights of holders of our common stock. You should read our certificate of incorporation and by-laws and the provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law for a full description of the terms of our common stock. Our certificate of incorporation and by-laws are filed as exhibits to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this exhibit is a part and incorporated by reference herein.
Our authorized capital stock consists of 2.5 billion shares of common stock and 500 million shares of preferred stock. As of December 31, 2019, we had 276.6 million outstanding shares of common stock.
Holders of common stock are entitled to receive such dividends as may from time to time be declared by our board of directors out of funds legally available for the payment of such dividends.
Holders of common stock are entitled to one vote per share on all matters on which the holders of common stock are entitled to vote and do not have any cumulative voting rights.
Liquidation or Similar Rights
In the event of a liquidation, dissolution or winding up of Principal Financial Group, Inc., holders of common stock are entitled to share equally and ratably in the assets of Principal Financial Group, Inc., if any, remaining after the payment of all liabilities of Principal Financial Group, Inc. and the liquidation preference of any outstanding class or series of preferred stock.
Other Rights and Preferences
Holders of common stock have no preemptive, conversion, redemption or sinking fund rights. The rights and privileges of holders of common stock are subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred stock that we may issue in the future.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PFG”.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Computershare Investor Services, LLC.
Change of Control Related Provisions in Our Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws, and Delaware Law
A number of provisions of our certificate of incorporation and by-laws deal with matters of corporate governance and rights of stockholders. The following discussion is a general summary of selected provisions of our certificate of incorporation and by-laws and regulatory provisions that might be deemed to have a potential antitakeover effect. These provisions may have the effect of discouraging a future takeover attempt which is not approved by our board of directors but which individual stockholders may
deem to be in their best interests or in which stockholders may receive a substantial premium for their shares over then current market prices. As a result, stockholders who might desire to participate in such a transaction may not have an opportunity to do so. Such provisions will also render the removal of the incumbent board of directors or management more difficult. Some provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law and Iowa and other state insurance laws may also have an antitakeover effect. The following description of selected provisions of our certificate of incorporation and by-laws and selected provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law and Iowa and other state insurance laws are necessarily general and reference should be made in each case to our certificate of incorporation and by-laws, which are filed as exhibits to the Annual Report on Form 10-K of which this exhibit is a part and incorporated by reference herein, and to the provisions of those laws.
Unissued Shares of Capital Stock
Common Stock. As of December 31, 2019, we had 276.6 million outstanding shares of common stock. The remaining shares of authorized and unissued common stock are available for future issuance without additional stockholder approval. While the additional shares are not designed to deter or prevent a change of control, under some circumstances we could use the additional shares to create voting impediments or to frustrate persons seeking to effect a takeover or otherwise gain control by, for example, issuing those shares in private placements to purchasers who might side with our board of directors in opposing a hostile takeover bid.
Preferred Stock. Our board of directors has the authority to issue preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the number of shares constituting any such series and the preferences, limitations and relative rights, including dividend rights, dividend rate, voting rights, terms of redemption, redemption price or prices, conversion rights and liquidation preferences of the shares constituting any series, without any further vote or action by our stockholders. The existence of authorized but unissued preferred stock could reduce our attractiveness as a target for an unsolicited takeover bid since we could, for example, issue shares of preferred stock to parties who might oppose such a takeover bid or shares that contain terms the potential acquiror may find unattractive. This may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control, may discourage bids for the common stock at a premium over the market price of the common stock, and may adversely affect the market price of, and the voting and other rights of the holders of, common stock.
Classified Board of Directors and Removal of Directors. Our certificate of incorporation provides that the directors shall be divided into three classes, as nearly equal in number as possible, with the term of office of each class to be three years. The classes serve staggered terms, such that the term of one class of directors expires each year. Any effort to obtain control of our board of directors by causing the election of a majority of the board of directors may require more time than would be required without a staggered election structure. Our certificate of incorporation also provides that directors may be removed only for cause at a meeting of stockholders by a vote of a majority of the shares then entitled to vote. This provision may have the effect of slowing or impeding a change in membership of our board of directors that would effect a change of control.
Restriction on Maximum Number of Directors and Filling of Vacancies on our Board of Directors. Our by-laws provide that the number of directors shall be fixed and increased or decreased from time to time by resolution of the board of directors, but the board of directors shall at no time consist of fewer than three directors. Stockholders can only remove a director for cause by a vote of a majority of the shares entitled to vote, in which case the vacancy caused by such removal may be filled at such meeting by the stockholders entitled to vote for the election of the director so removed. Any vacancy on the board of directors, including a vacancy resulting from an increase in the number of directors or resulting from a removal for cause where the stockholders have not filled the vacancy, may be filled by a majority of the directors then in office, although less than a quorum. If the vacancy is not so filled, it shall be filled by the stockholders at the next annual meeting of stockholders. The stockholders are not permitted to fill vacancies between annual meetings except where the vacancy resulted from a removal for cause. These provisions give incumbent directors significant authority that may have the effect of limiting the ability of stockholders to effect a change in management.
Advance Notice Requirements for Nomination of Directors and Presentation of New Business at Meetings of Stockholders; Action by Written Consent. Our by-laws provide for advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations for director. In addition, under the provisions of both our certificate of incorporation and by-laws, action may not be taken by written consent of stockholders; rather, any action taken by the stockholders must be effected at a duly called meeting. The Chairman of the Board, chief executive officer, or, under some circumstances, the president or any vice president, and the board of directors may call a special meeting. These provisions make it more procedurally difficult for a stockholder to place a proposal or nomination on the meeting agenda or to take action without a meeting, and therefore may reduce the likelihood that a stockholder will seek to take independent action to replace directors or seek a stockholder vote with respect to other matters that are not supported by management.
Limitations on Director Liability
Our certificate of incorporation contains a provision that is designed to limit our directors' liability. Specifically, directors will not be held liable to Principal Financial Group, Inc. for monetary damages for breach of their fiduciary duty as a director, except to the extent that this limitation on or exemption from liability is not permitted by the Delaware General Corporation Law and any amendments to that law.
The principal effect of the limitation on liability provision is that a stockholder is unable to prosecute an action for monetary damages against a director of Principal Financial Group, Inc. unless the stockholder can demonstrate a basis for liability for which indemnification is not available under the Delaware General Corporation Law. This provision, however, does not eliminate or limit director liability arising in connection with causes of action brought under the federal securities laws. Our certificate of incorporation does not eliminate our directors' duty of care. The inclusion of this provision in our certificate of incorporation may, however, discourage or deter stockholders or management from bringing a lawsuit against directors for a breach of their fiduciary duties, even though such an action, if successful, might otherwise have benefited Principal Financial Group, Inc. and our stockholders. This provision should not affect the availability of equitable remedies such as injunction or rescission based upon a director's breach of the duty of care.
Our by-laws also provide that we will indemnify our directors and officers. We are required to indemnify our directors and officers for all judgments, fines, settlements, legal fees and other expenses incurred in connection with pending, threatened or completed legal proceedings because of the director's or officer's position with Principal Financial Group, Inc. or another entity that the director or officer serves at our request, subject to various conditions, and to advance funds to our directors and officers to enable them to defend against such proceedings. To receive indemnification, the director or officer must have been successful in the legal proceeding or have acted in good faith and in what was reasonably believed to be a lawful manner in the best interest of Principal Financial Group, Inc.
Supermajority Voting Requirement for Amendment of Certain Provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws. The provisions of our certificate of incorporation governing, among other things the classified board, the director's discretion in determining what he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of Principal Financial Group, Inc., the liability of directors and the elimination of stockholder actions by written consent may not be amended, altered or repealed unless the amendment is approved by the vote of holders of three-fourths of the shares then entitled to vote at an election of directors. This requirement exceeds the majority vote of the outstanding stock that would otherwise be required by the Delaware General Corporation Law for the repeal or amendment of such provisions of the certificate of incorporation. Our by-laws may be amended by the board of directors or by the vote of holders of three-fourths of the shares then entitled to vote. These provisions make it more difficult for any person to remove or amend any provisions that have an antitakeover effect.
Business Combination Statute. In addition, as a Delaware corporation, we are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, unless we elect in our certificate of incorporation not to be governed by the provisions of Section 203. We have not made that election. Section 203 can affect the ability of an "interested stockholder" of Principal Financial Group, Inc. to engage in business combinations, such as mergers, consolidations or acquisitions of additional shares of Principal Financial Group, Inc., for a period of three years following the time that the stockholder becomes an "interested stockholder." An "interested stockholder" is defined to include persons owning directly or indirectly 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of a corporation. The provisions of Section 203 are not applicable in some circumstances, including those in which (a) the business combination or transaction which results in the stockholder becoming an "interested stockholder" is approved by the corporation's board of directors prior to the time the stockholder becomes an "interested stockholder" or (b) the "interested stockholder," upon consummation of such transaction, owns at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding prior to such transaction.
Limitations on Acquisitions of Securities
State insurance laws and other related state laws could be a significant deterrent to any person interested in acquiring control of Principal Financial Group, Inc. The insurance holding company and other insurance laws of many states regulate changes of control of insurance holding companies, such as Principal Financial Group, Inc. A change of control is generally presumed upon acquisitions of 10% or more of voting securities. The Iowa and Arizona insurance holding company laws and other Delaware, Vermont and California laws and regulations, which are applicable to us, require filings in connection with proposed acquisitions of control of domestic insurance companies and other regulated entities. These insurance holding company laws and other laws and regulations prohibit a person from acquiring direct or indirect control of an insurer or other regulated entity incorporated in the relevant jurisdiction without prior regulatory approval.