Zimpleman grew up in Williamsburg, Iowa. He attended Drake University on a scholarship from The Principal, and in his junior year landed an after-school job working for the company as an actuarial intern. From 1976 to 2006 he served in various management and leadership positions in the pension department. He was named Vice President in 1997, Senior Vice President in 1999, Executive Vice President in 2001, President of Retirement and Investor Services in 2003 and President and COO in 2006. He was named President and CEO in 2008 and to his current position in 2009.

Larry Zimpleman is Chairman, President and CEO of the Principal Financial Group. The Principal is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions, and asset management. Founded in 1879, and a member of the Fortune 500, The Principal has $466.2 billion in assets under management and serves some 19.0 million customers from worldwide offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

Zimpleman is responsible for overall management of The Principal, including overseeing company strategy, merger and acquisition activities, international development, and human resources planning for nearly 15,000 employees in the U.S. and 11 other countries. As a highly regarded expert on retirement security, investment management, and global retirement systems, his leadership and expertise is regularly sought by government officials and regulators worldwide.

Zimpleman serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Drake University. He is Vice Chair of the Iowa Business Council and serves on the Financial Services Roundtable Board & Executive Committee; on the board of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the ACLI Executive Committee, ex officio, and additionally serves as Chair of the ACLI Retirement & Financial Security Steering Committee. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and an Enrolled Actuary. Additionally, he is a member of: American Academy of Actuaries, Des Moines Actuaries Club, Business-Higher Education Forum, and Business Roundtable.

Zimpleman was awarded the 2013 Lilywhite Award from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, recognizing outstanding lifetime contributions to Americans' economic security. In 2012, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from PLANSPONSOR, a national retirement industry magazine, for his extraordinary contribution to the retirement plan industry.