MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), March 28, 2011 - Northwestern Mutual – the World’s Most Admired Life Insurance Company in 2011 according to FORTUNE® magazine – is announcing a formal partnership with Career Athletes – the leading provider of career development services within collegiate athletics – to support its nationwide effort to recruit thousands of financial representatives in 2011. Headquartered in Olathe, KS, Career Athletes serves hundreds of campuses and thousands of college students. Northwestern Mutual and Career Athletes leaders will visit colleges and universities nationwide to speak with student athletes from all collegiate sports regarding career options available after college.

Nationally, about three percent of all NCAA student athletes will become a professional athlete 1. As a result, many of today’s college athletes will choose to find success in their post-collegiate years as financial professionals and help people to achieve financial security, according to Steven C. Mannebach, Northwestern Mutual vice president of agency development.

“Student athletes and successful financial professionals are cut from the same cloth; they’re disciplined, resilient, and driven to succeed,” said Mannebach. “Many families today are facing financial challenges and they’re looking for leaders who can provide sound financial guidance to help them meet their goals.”

“Northwestern Mutual is a well-respected company with outstanding financial services careers for competitive individuals,” said DJ Washington, Career Athletes vice president, career education and training. “They are committed to developing college athletes and embracing the diverse culture of collegiate athletics. It is energizing to watch how both the financial representatives and student-athletes interact in harmony at each campus. It is Northwestern Mutual's willingness to recruit motivated college student-athletes of all majors, competing at every level, that separates them from others in its class.”

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; total insurance policy count grew by 9.2% and the number of new clients jumped 4%.

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.

“Americans are seeking financial guidance and want to work with companies that have been consistently financially strong,” Mannebach said. “It’s a trend we fully believe will continue this year, so we’re seeking to substantially grow our field force with exceptional talent nationwide.”

Northwestern Mutual offers one of the top 10 internships in the country, according to the 2011 Vault Guide to Internships. The annual Vault study measures mentorship and career advancement opportunities, number of active interns, compensation, intern feedback and unique appeal. For 15 straight years, Northwestern Mutual’s program has been recognized by Vault for providing interns with opportunities for personal and professional growth, valuable training and real-world experiences with a respected financial security company. More than 31,000 students across the country have participated in Northwestern Mutual’s internship program since its inception in 1967.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual), the World’s Most Admired Life Insurance Company according to FORTUNE® magazine, 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.

About Career Athletes

Career Athletes is the leading provider of a wide range of dedicated career development services and software within collegiate athletics. Since its inception in 1998-to-date, athletes in every sport, from over 1,200 individual colleges and universities nationwide, have utilized Career Athletes as a valuable tool in their transition from athletics to the workplace. Career Athletes possesses the largest member based community of current/alumni student-athletes, representing a growing legion of athletes, athletic departments and hundreds of national, regional and local employers. Today, its on-campus training and development seminars to student-athletes are the most relied upon in the nation, with over 900 seminars conducted and over 260,000 student-athletes educated on-campus within college athletic departments at the NCAA, NAIA and Junior Colleges level.

1 Calculated from NCAA.org Estimated Probability of Competing in Athletics Beyond the High School Interscholastic Level by averaging the ‘percent to NCAA to professional’ for all sports listed.