MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), April 15, 2011 - Northwestern Mutual, the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance company in 2011 according to FORTUNE® magazine, has released an interactive 2010 Annual Report, available at www.northwesternmutual.com.

The theme of the report is “Security Defined,” and within it Northwestern Mutual provides details about the state of the company and the results of one of its strongest years on record. The online version includes dynamic and interactive features, such as annotating and bookmarking capability, and original videos that tell client stories.

The client stories highlight various policyowners at different stages in their lives and explain how the company has impacted their financial security. Videos are embedded into each story to further bring it to life.

The report concludes with the 2010 Policyowners’ Examining Committee (POEC) report. As a mutual company, this report is a key differentiator of Northwestern Mutual, which is operated for the benefit of the policyowners. For over 100 years the POEC has independently analyzed the company’s business operations, management and strategic plans, offering its unrestricted assessment, suggestions for improvement and challenges to management. Consumers are encouraged to read the 2010 POEC report, which includes commentary on the company’s evolution from a life insurance to holistic financial security provider, the strength of its exclusive distribution system, increased focus on diversity and award-winning financial representative internship program.

“At a time when many companies struggle simply to remain profitable, we feel fortunate to create billions of dollars of value that we can pass back to our policyowners,” said John E. Schlifske, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual. “Our results tell an exciting story of the continuing power of our business model and the relevance of our products and services in all economic environments.”

In 2010, Northwestern Mutual approved a dividend payout for 2011 of nearly $4.9 billion. This is expected to be the second-highest payout in the company’s history. Although future dividends are not guaranteed, Northwestern Mutual currently pays more in ordinary life insurance dividends than the next three highest-paying mutual insurance companies combined. The company’s surplus, a key indicator of financial strength, increased by $3.4 billion to $17.6 billion.

Northwestern Mutual produced outstanding sales results in 2010, reflecting the value that people are currently placing on achieving financial security. New sales of life insurance ($827 million; +23 percent over 2009), individual disability income insurance ($56 million; +5 percent over 2009) and long-term care insurance ($39 million; +32 percent over 2009) all set company records in 2010.

In 2010, Northwestern Mutual also once again had its best possible insurance financial strength ratings reaffirmed by all four major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual), the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance company in 2011 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.