MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), March 03, 2011 - Northwestern Mutual is the “World’s Most Admired Company” in the life insurance industry, according to executives, directors and analysts worldwide responding to FORTUNE® magazine’s 2011 annual survey. Northwestern Mutual led its industry in seven out of nine key attributes:

  • Financial soundness
  • Quality of products and services
  • Long-term investment
  • Quality of management
  • Social responsibility
  • People management
  • Use of corporate assets

“Our clients depend on us for our consistency, stability, quality products and our financial professionals, and this validates the work that we do,” said John E. Schlifske, chairman and chief executive officer. “As a company that offers financial guidance domestically, it’s an honor to be trusted by industry experts and our peers around the world. This ranking reflects Northwestern Mutual’s strong financial and investment performance before, during, and after historic market turmoil and reflects our ability to thrive in any economic environment.”

Northwestern Mutual received an overall score of 6.45, which is derived from nine key attributes used to calculate a company's overall 'corporate reputation' score.

Billed as the definitive report card on corporate reputations, the FORTUNE “World’s Most Admired Companies” study asked top executives and directors from eligible companies – as well as financial analysts – to determine which companies have the strongest reputations within and across industries.

All "World’s Most Admired Companies" industry rankings will be featured in FORTUNE magazine's March 2011 edition.

The FORTUNE honor builds on other recent historic achievements:

  • In 2010, Northwestern Mutual set new records in risk product sales and grew distribution of investments:
    • Total number of policies sold increased 9.2% in 2010 versus 2009
    • Life insurance premiums jumped 23%1
    • Disability insurance premiums increased 5%
    • Long-term care premiums soared 32%
    • Sales of investment products and services rose 10%

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) is the “World’s Most Admired Company” in the life insurance industry. The company has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 154 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them 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.

2 Northwestern Mutual has earned the best possible ratings for insurance financial strength – each with a stable rating outlook – from all four major rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Feb. 2011; Fitch Ratings (AAA), Jan. 2011; Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Mar. 2010; and Standard & Poor’s (AAA), Mar. 2010.

3 Dividends may be declared and credited, at the Board of Trustees’ discretion, when current experience in investment earnings, mortality, morbidity and expenses is more favorable than the original assumptions used to establish policy premiums. Northwestern Mutual has paid a dividend every year since 1872. Future dividends are not guaranteed.