Due to outstanding investment performance, The Board of Trustees of Northwestern Mutual approved a continuation of an 8.8% portfolio dividend scale interest rate for 2001. This means the Company's total dividend allocation for 2001 is expected to reach a record $3.4 billion, which is a 9% increase over the 2000 payout.

"This extremely good news is reflective of the excellent performance of our investments, as well as our continued fine mortality and expense control," explains William C. Koenig, senior vice president and chief actuary.

Although final numbers are not available until early 2001, Koenig says Northwestern Mutual is expected to continue as the industry leader in total life insurance dividends. "With over one-half trillion dollars of life insurance in force, Northwestern is the nation's largest provider of individual life insurance," he adds.

Northwestern Mutual has always received the highest possible ratings for financial strength from Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Fitch (formerly Duff & Phelps) and A. M. Best. Besides life insurance, the Company and its subsidiaries are also providers of annuities, mutual funds, long-term care insurance and disability income insurance. In its category, it was named the most admired company in the world in Fortune's latest corporate reputation survey.

The Company is affiliated with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and its 7,500 Financial Representatives who provide expert guidance on insurance, investment products and services, retirement and estate planning, education funding and employee benefits. Among Northwestern Mutual's majority-owned subsidiaries are the Frank Russell Company, the investment management and advisory firm; Robert W. Baird and Co. Incorporated, the securities brokerage firm; and beginning in January, 2001, the Northwestern Mutual Trust Company which will offer a full range of personal trust products and services, as well as investment management services. Further information on Northwestern Mutual can be found at: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/

SOURCE: The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Contact: Jean Towell of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company,
414-665-5167

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

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