Erik Askelsen helps insurance clients develop and implement business-minded strategies related to the regulatory, corporate, transactional, product, governance, government relations and market conduct challenges they face. As a former senior vice president and general counsel for a leading retirement services company, Erik understands the issues general counsel, in-house attorneys and compliance professionals experience in the insurance industry and the financial services sector. He navigates complex challenges in a way that advances both the long-term goals of his clients and the short-term obstacles that arise.

In-House Experience

During his tenure as general counsel and senior VP at a leading senior retirement services company, Erik led all legal, compliance and regulatory activities for the company’s U.S. operations. Erik managed a team of 45 lawyers, paralegals and compliance professionals during a period of extraordinary growth and entrance into new business lines, products and distribution channels. While overseeing day-do-day legal operations, he spearheaded a number of large-scale priorities, including helping to orchestrate the company’s entrance into the pension risk transfer market. He also led the company’s response to legal and regulatory changes related to the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule, managed the legal and regulatory issues arising from the sale of the company’s life insurance business, and implemented a government relations function.

Erik held various leadership roles with the company prior to his tenure as general counsel, including three years as senior litigation counsel, during which he was responsible for the company’s litigation and legal disputes.

Prior Experience

Prior to his roles with the company, Erik was a partner at a law firm in Kansas City. He provided corporate, transaction and litigation legal services to various clients, including litigating reinsurance, insurance, employment and non-compete/trade secret cases filed in federal and state courts.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Hon. David R. Hansen, 2000-2002
U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, Hon. Monti L. Belot, 1998-2000


University of Kansas School of Law
J.D. Robert E. Edmonds Award for Corporation and Securities Law, Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy (managing editor) (1998)

University of Iowa
B.B.A. in Finance (1992)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Association of Life Insurance Counsel — Member

Civic Activities

  • United Way — Campaign Cabinet Member, 2012-14, 2018
  • Children & Families of Iowa — Past President and Member of Board of Trustees
  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Class of 2012
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