Lead Counsel at American Equity (Des Moines, IA)

| Des Moines, IA
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AtAmerican Equity Investment Life Holding Company, we think of ourselves asThe Financial Dignity Company. Our policyholders work with independent agents, banks and broker-dealers through our wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, to choose one of our leading annuity products best suited for their personal needs to create financial dignity in retirement. We remain steadfast in our commitment to quality products, excellent customer service, integrity, safety and delivering on our promises to our policyholders. Our success comes from hiring people who embody the beliefs that drive our unique, energetic, fast-paced and caring culture of collaboration, ownership and innovation.

We currently fund over half a million retirements nationwide, and have been headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, for over twenty-five years, withsatellite offices slated to open in 2022 in Charlotte, NC, and New York, NY. We are a NYSE-listed company and maintain an "excellent" rating from AM Best. Our companyhas over $57 billion in assets, 26,000 active agents and over 750 employees.


The Lead Counsel is responsible for providing independent in-house legal advice and guidance on insurance company matters which could include, but are not limited to, corporate and commercial matters, insurance regulatory and operational matters, employment, intellectual property, information retention, and actual and potential disputes that may become the subject of litigation.


Scope of responsibility in each legal discipline may vary. Incumbent will provide legal counsel to assigned business units.

Corporate/Contract Management

  • Partners with procurement to support the corporate-wide procurement process.
  • Oversees legal department's responsibilities with respect to corporate-wide procurement process, including the review and approval of contracts, including non-disclosure agreements, service agreements, commercial contracts, software licensing agreements and general vendor agreements.
  • Oversees and assists outside counsel with intellectual property matters, including trademark registrations.
  • Oversees the legal department's responsibilities with respect to information retention.
  • Provides legal support and analysis to business units.


  • Reviews and provides recommendations to senior management on insurance regulatory matters.
  • Analyzes and advises on new and existing Federal and state laws and regulations to ensure product and distribution compliance.
  • Provides counsel on annuity transaction related issues.
  • Responds to inquiries from regulators and prepares insurance regulatory filings.

HR Advisory

  • Advises Human Resources Department and other business leaders regarding compliance with labor, employment and benefits regulatory requirements.
  • Analyzes and advises on new and existing Federal and state laws and regulations governing employment, including but not limited to, wage and hour, workplace safety and health, health benefits, workers compensation, other workplace standards, etc.
  • Reviews company policies, monitors and ensures legal compliance, and advises management on legal matters to ensure effective employee relations and guard the organization against legal liability.
  • Reviews and provides recommendations to HR on compensation and benefit program design and administration.
  • May provide representation for the Company before state and federal administrative agencies, including the EEOC, state and local human rights agencies, the Department of Labor, OFCCP, and other labor and employment related parties.


  • Litigates, assists in selection of outside counsel and development of strategies to address litigation matters, engages in settlement and other litigation-related processes.
  • Evaluates, advises and responds to subpoenas and information requests by attorneys and regulators.
  • Assists in the development of internal policies and procedures and assists with the provision of internal training to reduce unnecessary litigation.
  • Supervises the handling of death claim disputes, overpayments and other collection matters.
  • Evaluates, advises and responds to complaints, disputes and inquiries.


  • Leads a diverse team of employees with responsibility for managing the employee life cycle and experience, including but not limited to, selection and retention of talent, continuous feedback and performance management, reward and recognition, corrective action and employee development.
  • Ensures prudent management of expenses for area of responsibility by establishing and monitoring department, team and/or project budget.
  • Remains abreast of changing laws and regulations and effectively communicates changes in a timely manner along with potential impact to business operations.
  • Provides work direction to junior counsel.
  • Performs other related work as assigned.


Direct Reports: Small team of paralegal(s).

General Description of Indirect Reports (2 and 3-downs): None


Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school plus a minimum of eight (8) years of progressively responsible related legal counsel experience.

Contract management and employment legal counsel experience required; litigation experience strongly preferred.


Ability to practice law within the U.S. and admitted to the Bar in at least one U.S. state, preferably in the State of Iowa


  • Strong legal skills across a range of areas and familiarity with legal concepts, practices and procedures, including but not limited to contract management, employment and/or litigation.
  • Clear understanding and adherence to ethical principles, company values, code of conduct and policies.
  • Ability to provide legal counsel and effectively deliver and prioritize legal services across various departments and functions.
  • Solid understanding of business operations and corporate issues.
  • Strong customer service orientation.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Mathematical skills and strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and successfully with employees, customers, and other outside third parties.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions.
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.
  • Ability to successfully handle pressure and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
More Information on American Equity
American Equity operates in the Insurance industry. The company is located in West Des Moines, IA. American Equity was founded in 1995. It has 640 total employees. It offers perks and benefits such as Health Insurance Benefits, 401(K), Performance Bonus. To see all 10 open jobs at American Equity, click here.
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