MILWAUKEE (BUSINESS WIRE), May 13, 2011 - Northwestern Mutual – the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance company in 2011 according to FORTUNE® magazine – announced today its sponsorship of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) Leadership Retreat, taking place in Orlando, Florida on May 19-22.

Through this strategic partnership, the company will shine a spotlight on the importance of financial security, particularly for women. Leadership Retreat attendees will learn strategies and tips to achieve long-term financial success. Rebekah Barsch, Northwestern Mutual director of retirement markets, will offer her expertise on the issues facing women and importance of addressing financial security early through prudent planning.

“As recent studies suggest, women today face a number of long-term financial challenges – lower earnings, caring for elderly parents, time out from the workforce and a longer life expectancy than men,” said Barsch. “It is important for women of all ages to consider their short- and long-term financial goals to develop a plan that will help them reach their goals. We are excited to work with NAWMBA to arm these leaders with information and provide them with the strategies to succeed.”

It’s clear that women have made strides over the past several decades, yet there are still a number of unique financial challenges facing women today – earnings, longevity and caring for loved ones, for example. The March 2011 “Women in America” report by the U.S. Department of Commerce1 indicates while women in the U.S. have caught up to men in terms of education and labor force involvement, they still only earn about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009. Coupled with recent Centers for Disease Control data that points to women living an average of five years longer than men, financial planning should clearly be a priority.

About NAWMBA

NAWMBA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering female business professionals into leadership positions and to enhance the diversity of the nation's workforce. The annual Leadership Retreat is designed for MBA students and early career MBA professionals to enhance their leadership skills both personally and professionally.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.

Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

1 “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being,” prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce – Economics and Statistics Administration & Executive Office of the President – Office of Management and Budget, March 2011.