MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), January 24, 2011 - More Americans are taking action to address their financial needs today, with nearly 70% claiming that “Getting my financial house in order is a priority for me in 2011,” according to a December 2010 Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Northwestern Mutual.

As a result, Northwestern Mutual is taking active steps to grow its field force to keep pace with the growing demand for financial security guidance, products and services. According to Northwestern Mutual data, interest in risk protection soared in 2010 as total insurance policy count grew by 9.2%, and the number of new clients jumped 4%.

“Consumers are demanding financial guidance and only want to work with companies that have been consistently financially strong,” said Steven C. Mannebach, Northwestern Mutual vice president of agency development. “It’s a trend we fully believe will continue this year, so we’re seeking to substantially grow our field force with exceptional talent around the country.”

This year Northwestern Mutual will add more than 2,000 financial representatives and more than 2,500 financial representative interns. Unlike other careers impacted by the stagnant economy, the Northwestern Mutual financial professional career is in high-demand and its offices nationwide are adding and training new financial representatives and interns at a fast pace.

The company expects that more than half of new financial representatives will be career changers--professionals who believe that they have reached the ceiling in their current occupation and are looking for an opportunity to grow.

“This is an era where pay freezes are more common than promotions, so we’re seeing a lot of professionals looking for new challenges and better rewards,” said Mannebach. “Every day, we interview hundreds of people who are at the top of their current careers and want to continue growing. They’re attracted by the impact they can make on people’s lives as financial professionals, the income potential, and the independence of being an entrepreneur.”

Training Leads to Success

Northwestern Mutual offers one of the best training programs in America, according to Training magazine’s 2010 “Training Top 125” list. Its field force is an industry leader in credentials, with more than half of all career financial representatives holding at least one professional designation.

“We’ve built a reputation for having the most knowledgeable financial professionals in the industry, and that’s attractive to both clients and career seekers,” said Mannebach, adding that the company’s accolades speak for themselves: Northwestern Mutual offers the top career in its industry, according to two surveys published by Glassdoor.com and Selling Power magazine in December 2010.

The company was recognized as one of the “Best Places to Launch a Career” (Sept. 2009) and one of the “Best Place to Start” an internship (Dec. 2009) by Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine.

For the 14th consecutive year, Northwestern Mutual’s financial representative internship program is one of the top 10, according to the 2010 Vault Guide to Internships within the financial services industry.

The Northwestern Mutual internship program puts interns in the driver’s seat, offering independence, opportunity for growth and virtually unlimited potential for impact and income. One in three graduating interns makes the transition to become a full-time financial representative. Many of the company’s most successful financial representatives and nearly half of its senior field management (45 percent) are former interns.

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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 $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual shares, where possible, its gains with policyowners and delivers consistent and dependable value to clients 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.