Northwestern Mutual and Nippon Life announced today that they have agreed to explore potential joint business opportunities continuing the positive relationship between the two leading mutual life insurance companies that has developed over the last several years.

Northwestern Mutual and Nippon Life will initially assist each other in pursuing U.S. and Japanese investment opportunities, including U.S. private equity and mezzanine co-investments, and potential Japanese equity investments. The companies will also periodically share investment insights and consider an exchange of investment personnel. These cooperative efforts are expected to strengthen the asset management operations of both Northwestern Mutual and Nippon Life.

Nippon Life has also acquired from Northwestern Mutual a five percent equity stake in Russell Investments, a global investment firm and subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual, headquartered in Tacoma, Washington. With $211 billion of assets under management, Russell serves individual, institutional and advisor clients in more than 40 countries.

"This business opportunity is a good one and should prove beneficial to Nippon Life and Northwestern Mutual," said Edward J. Zore, President and CEO of Northwestern Mutual. "Nippon Life is a premier long-term investor with a significant international presence, making its investment in Russell a 'win-win' for all parties involved," added Zore.

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has been helping policyowners and clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. The company is an industry leader, with over $1 trillion of life insurance protection in force. For 25 years, a FORTUNE magazine survey has named Northwestern Mutual "America's Most Admired" company in the life/health insurance industry. Further information on Northwestern Mutual, its subsidiaries and affiliates can be found at: http://www.nmfn.com/.

Nippon Life is the second largest Japanese life insurance company, founded in 1889 as the Nippon Life Assurance Co., Inc. A mutual company since 1947, it first paid its policyholders dividends in 1898. In addition to life insurance, Nippon offers a wide range of products that include survivor, medical and nursing care coverage as well as asset formation savings insurance. As of fiscal year-end 2007, total assets were $449.9 billion, and total revenues reached $60.8 billion.

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SOURCE: Northwestern Mutual

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

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