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American Equity Counsel - Investments in West Des Moines, Iowa


American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company is a leading retirement income provider specializing in fixed index annuities designed to protect principal and guarantee income. American Equity is committed to quality products and high-level customer service, integrity, excellence and safety, delivering customers the promise of protected growth of their savings and the dignity of a paycheck for life.

Founded in 1995, they currently fund over half a million retirements nationwide. American Equity is a NYSE-listed company and maintains an “excellent” rating from AM Best. The company is the #3 producer of fixed income annuities, has over $57 billion in assets, 21,000 active agents and over 700 employees. They succeed by hiring people who embody the beliefs that drive their unique, energetic, fast-paced and caring culture. The team is built on trust, motivated to accomplish a shared mission through collaboration, ownership, drive and innovation.


The Counsel – Investments is responsible for providing subject matter expertise and in-house legal advice and guidance to support a wide range of institutional investment transactions including real estate debt and equity investments, private credit, structured assets, and other private asset classes. The incumbent will work with the investment team on all aspects of a transaction, including due diligence, negotiating transaction documents, and providing legal advice while maintaining high legal and ethical standards. The ideal candidate will be located in either New York City or Des Moines.


  • Provides expert legal advice to Corporate and Investments leaders.

  • Advises Investments leaders on complex transactions, including coordinating due diligence, structuring, negotiating and documenting transactions, with a strong appreciation of deadlines.

  • Partners with internal stakeholders including investment operations, portfolio management and investment accounting on all aspects of the transaction execution process.

  • Provides objective, thorough, timely and well-researched legal advice and counsel to executive leadership, including assessment of the legal opportunity and risks of various transactions and courses of action.

  • Drafts and negotiates various agreements, including investment documents, side letters, vendor contracts, and confidentiality agreements.

  • Partners with internal compliance and outside counsel to address substantive legal, regulatory, and business issues as they arise.

  • Maintains industry knowledge of the current legal landscape; remains abreast of changes to applicable laws and regulations, effectively evaluates impact to business operations, and communicates appropriate actions in a timely manner.

  • Assists with other investment regulatory and compliance matters and manage projects that may arise.

  • Performs other related work as assigned.


Direct Reports: None.

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


  • Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school, plus a minimum of four (4) years of relevant transactional experience with a major law firm or in house at a financial institution.

  • Experience with insurance regulation is a plus.


  • Admission to the bar of at least one jurisdiction in the United States required.

  • License to practice law, preferably in the State of Iowa.


  • Proven ability to be the primary in-house attorney on certain corporate and investments projects, including handling multiple simultaneous transactions or projects.

  • Solid understanding of the investments industry including laws, rules and regulations impacting business operations and corporate issues.

  • Excellent negotiation and drafting skills; sound business judgment.

  • Strong legal skills across a range of areas and familiarity with legal concepts, practices and procedures.

  • Ability to act as a trusted advisor to senior leadership and colleagues while demonstrating expertise, innovation, bold thinking and integrity.

  • Solutions-driven with an ability to drive forward on complex issues and proactively take charge.

  • Clear understanding and adherence to ethical principles, company values, code of conduct and policies.

  • Strong customer service orientation.

  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.

  • Solid presentation skills; ability to effectively present information and respond to questions.

  • 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 define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.

  • Ability to successfully handle pressure and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.