(Bloomberg) -- Principal Financial Group Inc. hired Maureen Hays as managing director of consultant relationships as the insurer seeks more business at a unit overseeing $292.4 billion for retirement plans and institutional clients.

Hays will be based in New York in the newly created position and will work with middlemen who advise pension funds, a spokesman for the Des Moines, Iowa-based insurer said today. Hays joins Principal Global Investors from Axa SA’s investment managers group, where she was director of consultant relations. She previously worked at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Principal said in a statement today.

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