MILWAUKEE, July 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Moody's Investors Service has reaffirmed the Aaa insurance financial strength rating for both Northwestern Mutual and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130206/CG55426LOGO)

"Northwestern Mutual Life's Aaa insurance financial strength rating reflects its excellent insurance franchise, highly productive and cost-efficient career agency force, and excellent capitalization and liquidity," said Moody's Senior Credit Officer Neil Strauss. "Northwestern Mutual is the dominant leader in sales of participating traditional fixed life insurance, such as whole life insurance, a product whose features are highly supportive of insurer creditworthiness."

Northwestern Mutual continues to have the highest financial strength ratings awarded to any life insurer by all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best Company A++ (highest), April 2013; Fitch Ratings AAA (highest), December 2012; Moody's Investors Service Aaa (highest), July 2013; and Standard & Poor's AA+ (second highest), June 2013. Ratings are subject to change.

In its rating report, Moody's cited the following credit strengths of Northwestern Mutual.

Leading market position
"Northwestern Mutual is a top-10 insurance group ranked by assets. It was No. 1 in sales of life insurance as of Dec. 31, 2012 based on recurring premium and is far and away the leader in sales of participating whole life insurance."

Moody's also highlighted Northwestern Mutual's renowned brand. "The company has been consistently selected as one of the most admired companies in the global life/health insurance industry by Fortune magazine."

Strong career force
"The Northwestern Mutual Financial Network is one of the best trained, most productive and efficient distribution forces in the industry. Agent retention and productivity have been excellent, important factors in making the economics of a career force work." The rating agency described the company's college intern program as "innovative," noting that it generates 20 percent of new financial representatives.

Stability of whole life insurance
"Northwestern Mutual's core product, participating whole life insurance, has a significant experience-rating component in which investment, mortality and expense experience are shared with policyowners through the dividend mechanism, thereby eliminating most of the company's risk."

"The company's pre-dividend profitability can be attributed to the following factors: 1) a record of better-than-average mortality experience, which is in turn attributable to sound underwriting; 2) excellent policy persistency; and 3) a well-established position as a low-cost producer – the result of its well-managed distribution force and good cost controls."

For more information, see the Financial Strength Ratings page in the About Northwestern Mutual section of northwesternmutual.com.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual