After sweeping eight of nine "most admired" categories, Northwestern Mutual once again ranked first in its industry in Fortune's prestigious list of the world's most admired companies. Northwestern Mutual is featured on the magazine's Web site at http://www.fortune.com/globalmostadmired and in its March 4th European edition. This coincides with Fortune's survey of America's most admired companies, which has named Northwestern Mutual No. 1 in its industry for the last 20 years.

"Global recognition really acknowledges the standard by which we conduct business every day," says Edward J. Zore, president and chief executive officer. "This post-Sept. 11 survey highlights how critical it is to maintain qualities such as leadership, innovation and fiscal responsibility, especially in a tough business climate when people need financial security more than ever."

Fortune commissioned the Hay Group consulting firm to survey 10,000 business executives and industry analysts in 26 industries worldwide. Each company was rated on nine attributes: innovativeness, social responsibility, employee talent, long-term investment value, use of corporate assets, quality of management, quality of products and services, financial soundness, and global acumen.

With an overall score of 7.35, Northwestern Mutual ranked 71 basis points ahead of the second place company. Northwestern Mutual finished first in this survey each of the three times it has been conducted since 1999.

Just two weeks ago, Fortune announced on its Web site that Northwestern Mutual is again the nation's most admired company in its industry. The complete list of America's most admired is in the current domestic edition of the magazine.

"This is about as good as it gets," says Zore. "Recognition like this helps to position Northwestern Mutual in the financial security business as we continue to grow beyond our strong life insurance roots."

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 for Northwestern Mutual, +1-414-665-2705,
Deannatillisch@northwesternmutual.com

Website: http://www.fortune.com/globalmostadmired

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