Northwestern Mutual has been voted the "world's most admired company" in its industry for the fourth time. Fortune's annual survey, the "World's Most Admired Companies," is featured in the magazine's March 3rd European edition. This award follows on the heels of Fortune's "America's Most Admired Companies," in which Northwestern Mutual topped its industry for the 20th time since the survey started in 1983.

"It's certainly an honor to be recognized by our competitors. It's our mutuality that sets us apart," says Edward J. Zore, president and chief executive officer. "As a mutual company, our focus is on our customers, long- term value, financial strength and ultimately doing what's right for our clients."

With an overall score of 7.23, Northwestern Mutual ranked first in eight of the nine survey categories. Fortune's list of the "World's Most Admired Companies" is compiled based on a survey conducted by the Hay Group consulting firm. More than 10,000 directors, executives and managers at 345 companies around the world were asked to rate others in their respective industries on nine key attributes: quality of management, quality of products/services, long-term investment value, financial soundness, employee talent, social responsibility, innovativeness and globalness.

"With a 146-year history of providing financial security, we're successful because we focus on fundamentals," says Zore. "This honor confirms that our priorities are in the right place."

Another Wisconsin company, Johnson Controls, made the list, ranking second in its industry.

Northwestern Mutual, the nation's largest direct provider of individual life insurance according to A. M. Best, 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 long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities and mutual funds.

These products and services are distributed through the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and its 7,800 financial representatives. Among its affiliated companies are the Frank Russell Company, the investment management and advisory firm; Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), the securities brokerage firm; and Northwestern Mutual Trust Company, a special purpose federal savings bank. Further information on Northwestern Mutual, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, can be found at: www.northwesternmutual.com .

SOURCE: Northwestern Mutual

CONTACT: Jean Towell of Northwestern Mutual, +1-800-323-7033,
Jeantowell@northwesternmutual.com

Web site: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/