MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), May 10, 2010 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed the AAA insurance financial strength rating of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company. This is the agency’s best possible rating assigned to insurers, and recognizes the company’s superior ability to meet its ongoing obligations to policyowners. Fitch also said the outlook for both companies remains stable.

This announcement by Fitch follows the other three major rating agencies – Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and A.M. Best -- all of which affirmed the company’s best possible rating in March. The affirmations put Northwestern Mutual in a distinguished class in the financial services industry, making it one of just several companies to earn top ratings across the board.

In its announcement, Fitch said its ratings “reflect Northwestern Mutual’s very strong competitive position in the U.S. life insurance market and exceptionally strong balance sheet fundamentals.”

Additionally the agency said it “considers Northwestern Mutual’s key competitive advantages to include its successful distribution system, large and stable block of traditional life insurance, and focus on expense control.”

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with over $1 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual seeks to share its gains with policyowners and deliver consistent and dependable value to clients over time.

Northwestern Mutual is an industry leader in total individual life insurance and disability insurance dividends paid to participating policyowners. Though dividends are not guaranteed, are reviewed annually and are subject to change, the company has paid life insurance dividends every year since 1872.

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 advisor, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investment Group. Further information can be found at http://www.northwesternmutual.com.

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