Northwestern Mutual continues its extraordinary winning streak as its industry's most admired company in Fortune's annual survey of corporate reputations. Ranking first in its category, as it has since 1983, Northwestern Mutual is featured in the magazine's March 4 edition, which hits newsstands this week. Of the 530 companies evaluated, Kimberly Clark and Northwestern Mutual are the only two that have led their categories throughout the history of the survey.

"This is a big deal," says Edward J. Zore, president and chief executive officer. "This survey began 20 years ago and we continue to be recognized as No. 1 year after year by those who know us best -- our competitors and the analysts who study our industry."

Fortune's list of America's Most Admired Companies is an annual report card on corporate reputations graded by more than 10,000 business executives and analysts from the largest companies in some 60 industries who rate others in their industry on eight key attributes. Northwestern Mutual was voted first in its industry in: quality of management, quality of products and services, long-term investment value, financial soundness, employee talent, social responsibility, and use of corporate assets.

Northwestern Mutual's total score was up 25 basis points over 2001, and its individual scores increased in seven categories. The company's score is 59 basis points higher than this year's new second place company.

Northwestern Mutual, the nation's leading provider of individual life insurance according to the American Council of Life Insurers, has always received the highest possible ratings for financial strength from Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Fitch, and A. M. Best. In addition to life insurance, the company, its subsidiaries and affiliates are also providers of annuities, mutual funds, long-term care insurance and disability income insurance. These products and services are distributed through the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and its 7,500 financial representatives.

Among Northwestern Mutual's majority-owned subsidiaries are the Frank Russell Company, the investment management and advisory firm; Mason Street Advisors, the asset management company; Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), the securities brokerage firm; and the Northwestern Mutual Trust Company. Further information on Northwestern Mutual, based in Milwaukee, Wis., can be found at: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/

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SOURCE: Northwestern Mutual

Contact: Deanna Tillisch of Northwestern Mutual, +1-414-665-2705,
Deannatillisch@northwesternmutual.com

Website: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/