MILWAUKEE, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A.M. Best has affirmed the A++ insurance financial strength ratings for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company. This is the agency's highest possible rating assigned to insurers, and is given to companies viewed as possessing superior ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyowners. The outlook for both companies remains stable.

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Northwestern Mutual, one of the "World's Most Admired" companies according to FORTUNE magazine(1), maintains insurance financial strength ratings that are unsurpassed in the industry(2).  This is the 37th consecutive year that A.M. Best has affirmed Northwestern Mutual's A++ rating.

"Our model and our mission both demand an unwavering commitment to financial strength," said Chris Kelly, Northwestern Mutual vice president and controller. "This latest action by A.M. Best confirms, once again, that Northwestern Mutual remains financially strong. In turn, it underscores for our policyowners that we remain – in no uncertain terms – firmly positioned to meet our long-term obligations to deliver financial security."

In affirming Northwestern Mutual's A++ rating, A.M. Best said that, "the ratings reflect Northwestern Mutual's sizable and mature participating ordinary life insurance franchise, consistently positive operating performance and superior risk-adjusted capitalization."

A.M. Best further noted that the ratings "recognize the loyalty and productivity of the Northwestern Mutual financial network, its exclusive distribution system, as well as competitive advantages derived from historically favorable investment, expense, persistency and mortality experience in its core business lines."

About Northwestern Mutual
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.  Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

(1) FORTUNE, 2012
(2) A.M. Best Company A++ (highest), 4/2012; Fitch Ratings AAA (highest), 1/2011; Moody's Investors Service Aaa (highest), 6/2011; Standard & Poor's AA+ (second highest), 8/2011. Ratings are subject to change.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual