MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), February 17, 2011 - Northwestern Mutual announced today that sales of its risk products increased across the board and set company records in 2010. Additionally, new market research from the company reinforces evidence that Americans are increasingly embracing risk management, side-by-side with investing, as the foundation of their long-term financial planning.

Total number of life insurance, individual disability income insurance (DI) and long-term care insurance (LTC) policies sold increased 9.2% in 2010 versus 2009. Total protection increased dramatically: life insurance premiums jumped 23%, DI increased 5% and LTC soared 32%1 -- all of which set company records.

“One of the more interesting elements of our 2010 performance story is that the overall premium increases we saw were driven in a large part by strong demand for our permanent life insurance products,” said Greg Oberland, executive vice president – Northwestern Mutual. “There is no sign that the trend is slowing down. In fact, our latest consumer research shows that interest in permanent life insurance is greater than term insurance, cost aside. This is an encouraging sign that people across the country are thinking in terms of long-term financial security, not just the quick fix.”

Data from Northwestern Mutual’s latest consumer study, conducted in January 2011, indicates that Americans are taking a distinctly holistic approach to their financial planning. When asked how important various financial products are to them, Americans placed equal importance on “life insurance” and “investments” (66%). And when considering different types of life insurance, cost aside, 50% indicated a strong interest in whole life, while only 40% felt the same way about term.

“Americans recognize that investments alone will not take them to the finish line,” said Oberland. “They understand that financial security means not just growing and managing your assets, it means growing, managing and protecting your assets. In addition to the record sales of our risk products, we also saw a 10% rise in sales of our investment products. To us, this demonstrates that people are taking a more holistic approach by managing risk and wealth accumulation simultaneously.”

To keep pace with the growing demand for financial security planning, Northwestern Mutual recently announced that it is actively recruiting financial professionals nationwide.

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 seeks to share its gains with policyowners and deliver 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.

1 Annualized new sales figures reported here count premiums for life insurance policies paid for with a single premium at 10 percent. This is a common industry convention to put sales of single premium policies on a comparable basis to annual premium policies. As reported for statutory accounting purposes, new life insurance premium in 2010 was $1.7 billion.