MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), March 17, 2011 - The Northwestern Mutual Foundation is making a $125,000 donation to the American Red Cross to provide immediate relief to citizens in the aftermath of the large-scale earthquake and tsunami that recently struck Japan.

Northwestern Mutual’s subsidiary, Russell Investments, has associates in Japan and has confirmed their families are safely accounted for and no damage was sustained to the company’s offices.

“It is clear these tragic events will require a worldwide response and relief effort,” said John Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual chairman and chief executive officer. “Our collective thoughts are with the victims of this disaster and our colleagues at Russell Investments, who have offices in affected areas. We encourage those who can help to do so now. One effective and immediate way to do that is through the American Red Cross.”

On March 11, a record 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck near the Japanese city of Sendai. It generated a powerful 32-foot tsunami which struck northern Japan, surged a quarter of a mile inland and caused widespread destruction to coastal areas and communities. There was also damage to area nuclear power plants, causing a third emergency. Cold weather and snow is now complicating the ongoing emergency relief operation, which was already challenged by continued aftershocks, fuel shortages and inaccessible roads.

The Northwestern Mutual Foundation’s $125,000 donation will be used by the American Red Cross to help impacted residents meet their basic needs over the coming weeks.

Northwestern Mutual is promoting the cause through various channels including the company's corporate website, its Twitter page and its Facebook fan page. The company encourages employees, policyowners, clients and the public to pledge personal donations directly to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund: http://www.redcross.org/donatemoney.

Donations to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund can be made at: http://www.redcross.org/donatemoney.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.

About Northwestern Mutual Foundation

The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. Over the past decade, the Foundation has donated $170 million to nonprofit organizations across the country; in fiscal year 2010 alone, the Foundation contributed more than $15 million.

Northwestern Mutual is the World’s Most Admired Life Insurance Company, according to executives, directors and analysts worldwide responding to FORTUNE® magazine’s 2011 annual survey.

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 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.

Further information can be found at http://www.northwesternmutual.com.