Northwestern Mutual maintains the best possible insurance financial strength ratings from the nation's four major rating agencies. In affirming Northwestern Mutual's ratings, the four agencies cited the company's competitive advantages, which include the company's strong capital position, financial flexibility, successful distribution system, large and stable block of traditional life insurance, and strong operating fundamentals including mortality, policyowner persistency, and expense control.

"We are pleased that Northwestern Mutual has maintained the best possible ratings for financial strength from all four major rating agencies," said Edward J. Zore, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual. "To achieve this in the current tumultuous environment highlights how the company's business model and long-term approach differentiate Northwestern Mutual in the marketplace. Year after year, we earn trust by delivering consistent strength and excellent value to our policyowners and clients."

On Friday, June 19, 2009, Fitch Ratings affirmed Northwestern Mutual's AAA ("exceptionally strong") insurance financial strength rating, the agency's highest possible rating. The Fitch announcement followed reports made by Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's, and A.M. Best, which also affirmed Northwestern Mutual's best possible insurance financial strength ratings.

Northwestern Mutual has always received the best possible insurance financial strength ratings from Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poor's, and A.M. Best. Insurance financial strength ratings are an independent opinion of an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. Third party ratings are subject to change.

Northwestern Mutual is one of the World's Most Admired life insurance companies, leading its industry in the attributes of Financial Soundness, Use of Corporate Assets and Long-term Investment, according to executives, directors, and analysts responding to FORTUNE magazine's 2009 annual survey, dated March 16, 2009.

  Ratings Agency Announcements

  --  June 19, 2009: Fitch Affirms Northwestern Mutual's Insurer Financial
      Strength Rating at 'AAA'
  --  June 17, 2009: Standard & Poor's Affirms Northwestern Mutual's AAA
      Rating; Stable Outlook
  --  June 4, 2009: A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of the Northwestern Mutual
      Life Insurance Company and Subsidiaries

  --  April 8, 2009: Moody's Affirms Northwestern Mutual's Aaa Insurance
      Financial Strength Rating; Stable Outlook


  About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company - Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. 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. Further information can be found at http://www.northwesternmutual.com/.

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SOURCE: Northwestern Mutual

CONTACT: Jean Towell of Northwestern Mutual, 1-800-323-7033,
mediarelations@northwesternmutual.com

Web Site: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/