MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), February 21, 2011 - A.M. Best has announced that it affirmed the best possible insurance financial strength ratings for Northwestern Mutual and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company. These ratings recognize the company’s superior ability to meet its ongoing obligations to policyowners. The outlook for both ratings is stable.

“It’s not a small achievement to have maintained the best possible ratings for as long as we have,” said Chris Kelly, Northwestern Mutual vice president and controller. “And it’s not something we take for granted. Although the economy and financial markets appear to be turning around, significant risks still exist. That’s where our unique business model and financial flexibility make the difference, providing the strength we need to ride out these business cycles and stay focused on the long-term. The goal is always to do what’s in the best interest of our policyowners.”

In its announcement, A.M. Best attributed its rating to the company’s leading market position, superior risk-adjusted capitalization, extremely favorable liability profile, solid operating earnings and commitment to mutuality. In addition, the agency stressed the competitive advantage of Northwestern Mutual’s Field force, which it says has contributed to the company’s strong persistency and prominent market presence.

This is the 36th consecutive year that the company has received A++ ratings from A.M. Best. In addition, Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company maintain the best possible insurance financial strength ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch.

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.