We Believe in Milwaukee 

campus expansion 
Milwaukee's first significant building of the 21st century, Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons will reflect the city that surrounds us and will be a beacon for our Northwestern Mutual family, Greater Milwaukee residents and visitors to our city.

Build on Success 

Build the Future 

Build a Community 

Building Designs 

O'Donnell Park 


Our Commitment to Milwaukee

john e. schlifskeWe have always taken pride in calling Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin our home—and never more than now.

We believe it is a great time to live and work here. We’re backing that belief with new investments in our infrastructure, through the employees and financial representatives who serve our policyowners, and in the strategic philanthropic contributions we’re making to enhance education and help further strengthen Milwaukee and its neighborhoods.

We make these investments with an eye on the future of our company, our people, and our city. We hope you share our vision and optimism. And we thank you for your interest in Northwestern Mutual and its commitment to our community.

schlifske signature
John E. Schlifske
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


Building the Future

Northwestern Mutual is investing in a signature development that reflects a financially strong and growing company in a flourishing city with growth potential. The success and growth seen in the design of our new building will help lead the way in attracting and retaining top talent and new business to Milwaukee.

With 1.1 million square feet of space, we will be able to:

  • Create 1,000 construction-related jobs through 2017
  • Bring 1,900 new jobs to the city
  • Retain 1,100 jobs downtown
  • Generate millions of dollars in new tax base
See the design renderings in our photo gallery and in this exciting video.

Watch Our Announcements


Click here to watch Northwestern Mutual Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John E. Schlifske, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Carmen Pitre, executive director of Soujourner Family Peace Center, kick off construction of our Tower and Commons.




press conferenceClick here to watch Northwestern Mutual Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John E. Schlifske unveil Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons on September 25, 2013.

press conferenceClick here to watch Northwestern Mutual Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John E. Schlifske announce the company's new development on December 6, 2012.



Fact Sheets

News Releases

November 2014

master classGiving Students Firsthand Experience

Our Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons building project enables us to engage students from local colleges – and even grade schools – in unique learning experiences. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently highlighted our educational programs in a Sunday feature story. Read about it here on JSOnline.

Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are an important part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. In October, the Hispanic ERG celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with educational and cultural presentations, musical performances and student artwork from Notre Dame Middle School students. Members of the African American ERG attended the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner; spoke at the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources meeting; and participated in a panel discussion at a Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals meeting. Our Military ERG hosted Army Reservists from Green Bay and helped the reservists practice their interviewing skills. Learn more.

Exceeding United Way Goals

We surpassed our 2014 United Way goal of $1.75 million this fall by raising more than $1.8 million in employee contributions. An amazing 83 percent of our employees participated in the campaign. United Way of Greater Milwaukee focuses on three impact areas: education, income and health. It supports more than 160 programs at more than 80 local agencies. Find out more about United Way.

Recognized for Giving

We recently received the 2014 Organization Award from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, recognizing our 2013 gift of $2 million for The Northwestern Mutual Day Hospital. The outpatient treatment center for children with cancer and blood disorders is scheduled to open in early 2015. The award honors companies for their generous levels of support and partnership. Our Childhood Cancer Program is committed to accelerating the search for cures for childhood cancers and providing support for families battling the disease. Since 2012, the program has touched more than 3,000 families and funded more than 41,000 hours of research. Read more.

October 2014

Providing Opportunities to Local Students

Our Northwestern Mutual Foundation is working to help first-generation, low-income college students stay in college and earn their degrees through the Milwaukee Neighborhood Scholarship Program. Recently, the Foundation awarded more than $85,000 in college scholarships to 12 first-generation students from the Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way neighborhoods. Each student recipient is also matched with a Northwestern Mutual employee mentor who can help the student stay focused on making the transition from college to their career path. Read more.

Helping Local Residents Improve Their Neighborhoods

Northwestern Mutual partners with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Zilber Family Foundation to help Milwaukee residents improve their communities. The three foundations developed the Community Connections Small Grants Program, which gives resident-led groups a boost to strengthen the neighborhoods in which they live. The first round of grants provide up to $500 for 13 projects, ranging from water reclamation for a community garden and neighborhood beautification to a positive body image workshop. The application deadline for the second round of grant funding, open to 21 Milwaukee neighborhoods, is November 3. Find out more.

Focusing on O’Donnell Park with NEWaukee

NEWaukee, a social architecture firm that aspires to make Milwaukee even greater, seeks ideas for the plaza that tops the O’Donnell Park garage. They recently sponsored an evening social on the plaza, and they offer a place to share ideas on their website. NEWaukee facilitated a focus group with Northwestern Mutual employees. The work has generated myriad ideas, ranging from significantly enhancing the landscaping to setting aside areas for recreation, to creating an art that connects to our city, its history and culture.

Strengthening the Fight Against AIDS

Team Northwestern Mutual won the first annual AIDS Walk Wisconsin ERG Challenge. With donations totaling just over $7,500, Team Northwestern Mutual surpassed several corporate competitors and will have rights to the travelling trophy. The Northwestern Mutual LGBTA employee resource group also sponsored one of the rest stops along the route. Funds raised from AIDS Walk Wisconsin support the ARCW Medical Center, which provides quality medical, dental and mental health care and social services for people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the state. Learn more.

Educating Third Grade Students

Our Northwestern Mutual Foundation and facility operations department recently partnered with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum to host 56 third-graders from Bruce-Guadalupe Community School. The kids spent time exploring the children’s museum and were introduced to our Tower and Commons construction project. They had a chance to touch and learn about building materials and tools, heard about the different types of jobs involved in building a 32-story building, and then had their pictures taken in the bucket of a huge excavator. Their reaction? In their words, “This was the best field trip ever!” Find out more.

September 2014

Executives Important to Milwaukee

john e schlifske

john kordsmeier

Onmilwaukee.com has jointly named Northwestern Mutual Chairman and CEO John Schlifske and John Kordsmeier, head of our Northwestern Mutual Foundation, among the 14 people most important to Milwaukee. “The company has made a clear commitment to Milwaukee and the foundation is an incredible philanthropic source in this city and around the country,” says columnist Dave Begel, who based his selections on the following criteria: a sense of vision they can communicate to people, a demonstrated ability to make things happen, and the propensity to command attention. Read more here.

Deconstruction: From Start to Finish

Watch the final time lapse video of our 16-story east building’s deconstruction – and in a little less than a minute and a half, you’ll see what took construction crews seven months to accomplish. We selected and spliced together hundreds of still shots taken by cameras at five different locations around our downtown campus. Now we can build the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, a 21st-century development that will change Milwaukee’s skyline and boost the city’s economy. Its construction alone is creating more than 1,000 jobs. Watch the video

Supporting the American Red Cross

The Northwestern Mutual Foundation is pledging $250,000 to support the American Red Cross’ Disaster Responder Program, with $200,000 allocated to the national program and $50,000 for Wisconsin relief. Funding supports the program’s disaster relief efforts, including sheltering, feeding, purchasing and distributing supplies, storing equipment, providing health and emotional support and reconnecting separated individuals. Our partnership allows us to activate a secure microsite where our employees and field representatives can directly support disaster relief efforts. Find out more.

Donating backpacks to school kids

Our Employee Resource Groups again teamed up to sponsor a fall backpack drive for local school children. Last year the drive surpassed the team’s goal of 200 by collecting 368 backpacks from our generous Northwestern Mutual employees. So this year they raised the goal to 400 – and employees responded by donating a total of 757 backpacks! Many were filled with school supplies. The backpacks were donated to Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School, Bruce-Guadalupe Community School, and families served by the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. Learn more

August 2014

We Believe in Milwaukee – Let’s Build!

We kicked off construction on our Tower and Commons Aug. 26 by inviting the community to a festive groundbreaking ceremony. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Carmen Pitre, executive director of Sojourner Family Peace Center, thanked Northwestern Mutual Foundation for the financial support so critical to nonprofits across the city and recognized thousands of hours of volunteer work our employees contribute yearly. Mariachi Infantil, a group of talented young musicians from the Latino Arts Strings Program, performed. Two of the musicians launched our project by pulling a lever that released a storm of streamers and started the excavators digging into the earth. Let’s build!

Promoting Understanding and Acceptance

Our LGBTA employee resource group is partnering with Diverse & Resilient, Inc. (D & R), a local nonprofit organization that leads efforts to increase acceptance, end discrimination, promote health and well-being, and build leadership skills and confidence among LGBT people. Our LGBTA ERG members and other employees will participate in D & R’s Acceptance Journeys, a broad social marketing campaign in which people share personal stories of acceptance to inspire others, bridge gaps and foster understanding. The Northwestern Mutual Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to D & R in support of Acceptance Journeys. Learn more.

Racing Dragon Boats for Charity

Members of our Hispanic Employee Resource Group (ERG) joined other Northwestern Mutual employees in July to participate in the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center’s second annual Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival. The colorful event benefits Ronald McDonald House. A total of 21 Northwestern Mutual employees rowed in the Dragon Boat Race at Veteran’s Park, representing our company while also promoting health, wellness and inclusion. The Northwestern Mutual Foundation sponsored the group, which was tagged the Northwestern Mutual Policy Rowers. Learn about the event.


Empowering Women

We recently hosted Inspiring Leaders: The Power of You, a multi-city event tour for women, featuring panel discussions on instilling confidence and encouraging women to achieve their full potential. The tour began in Milwaukee and traveled to three other cities. Moderated by Northwestern Mutual Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Sarah Schott, panelists included Joann Eisenhart, Ph.D., senior vice president of human resources, facilities and philanthropy, Northwestern Mutual; Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman and founder of the Forbes Executive Women's Board; and Ingrid Vanderveldt, founder of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020. Read the article.


July 2014

Proposing to Enhance O’Donnell Park

o'donnell parkWe’ve announced a proposal to purchase O’Donnell Park and take the financial burden of repairs and maintenance off the county’s shoulders. Northwestern Mutual has proposed purchasing the lakefront parking structure and pavilion buildings from the county and making immediate improvements. The deal would provide safe, well-maintained, convenient parking for neighboring businesses and their guests and additional parking for our own employees when the Tower and Commons is built. Get the details here.



One of 100 Best Places to Work in IT

For the ninth consecutive year, Northwestern Mutual has been named a top workplace for information technology professionals, according to IDG's Computerworld, the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers worldwide. We rank 55th among large-sized companies in the 2014 “100 Best Places to Work in IT,” up from 63rd last year. Since 1994, Computerworld's annual list has ranked the top 100 work environments that challenge their IT staffs while providing great benefits and compensation. The rankings also analyze diversity, career development, and employee training and retention. Find out more.



Singing for Our Veterans

Our Northwestern Mutual choir recently performed “Royalty and Revolution” songs for veterans at Milwaukee’s VA Medical Center. Three years ago, the choir performed their first community concert there, and this was their return engagement. The choir was joined by other employee volunteers and members of our Military Veterans employee resource group, all of whom visited with the vets before and after the concert. This is just one of many ways we support the men and women who have given so much to our country. Read more about our veteran initiatives.   




Helping Women Reach New Heights

Northwestern Mutual has taken another step in our diversity and inclusion journey by launching a new employee resource group to help women employees realize their full potential. The Women’s ERG joins our African American, Hispanic, Military Veterans and LGBTA ERGs and will focus on recruiting and retaining more female talent, cultivating more leadership roles, and aiding in career development for women throughout the company. The group will represent Northwestern Mutual in the community through volunteer and outreach programs and strive to create stronger connections with women in our field force. Learn how we inspire women.


Supporting Milwaukee Neighborhoods and Education

Our Northwestern Mutual Foundation recently announced awards of more than $2 million to nonprofits through our company’s neighborhoods and education grants programs. The company is donating $590,000 to organizations dedicated to building fundamental literacy skills and $420,000 to replicable, collaborative education efforts. More than $1 million will be given to nonprofits located within Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way neighborhoods in an effort to create welcoming, safe and healthy neighborhoods for more than 70,000 residents. Read recent media coverage about the company’s commitment to these neighborhoods. Find out more about our grant recipients.  


June 2014

Video: Our East Building Comes Down

building fall

On June 16, 2014, the last portion of our east building came down. Construction of our new building will be the beginning of an era, with new jobs and a new Milwaukee skyline.  Watch the video

Then, learn more about the impact we're making in Milwaukee.





May 2014

Wrapping Up Street Work

street workAs we prepare to build the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, the utility rerouting project that’s gnarled traffic since February is coming to an end. Traffic on Mason Street is again open to two-way traffic, and the parking lane on the north side of the street is available. Crosswalks at Mason and Prospect, Mason and Cass, and Mason and Van Buren are open again to pedestrians, and by June 7 the utility work on the corner of Van Buren Street and Wisconsin Avenue will conclude, reopening the crosswalks on that corner. The Milwaukee County Transit System (#30) bus shelter will remain in its new location on Van Buren Street north of Mason throughout construction. Sign up for “Travel” alert emails. 


Seeking SBEs and Local Labor

workersTogether with our general contractor team, Gilbane & C.G. Schmidt, Inc., we’re sponsoring special sessions to provide information about our Tower and Commons project to local small business enterprises (SBEs). We plan to hire SBEs for 25 percent of total project costs and utilize local labor for 40 percent of work hours. Our building project was also presented at the Tuesday, June 3, Small Business Sustainability Conference hosted by the city’s Office of Small Business Development. Small business owners had opportunities to network, share information with city and local government officials, and learn about new trends and topics of importance. Learn more.


Reuse & Recycle

betty brinn

As good corporate citizens, we’re reusing or recycling more than 75% of the materials coming out of our building.

Here’s the tally:
• 67,000 tons of granite, masonry and brick
• 6,400 tons of steel, aluminum and other metals (19 million pounds of steel alone)
• 10,000 tons of wood
• 53 tons of carpet

 Other interesting facts:
• 2,000 windows were removed from the east building.
• 5,011 pieces of granite removed from the facade will be crushed and reused as backfill or roadbed on other projects.
• 20,000 pieces of scaffolding encased the building at the beginning of deconstruction.
• 12 bays (40-foot sections within support columns) will be deconstructed horizontally to bring down the rest of the building.

Making Good on our Commitments

betty brinnWe’re committed to ensuring our hometown is an inviting and exciting place to live, work and play. To reinforce this commitment, our Northwestern Mutual Foundation has awarded $750,000 in grants to Milwaukee organizations.

These gifts support a variety of programs that bring visitors to the area, attract and retain current residents and workers, and provide significant learning and enrichment experiences to children and families. One such program is the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, which will receive a $150,000 grant to help build an educational experience that will present early literacy as the foundation for a child's academic and lifelong success.

Find out who else received grants. 

April 2014


See Our Progress in a New Video

see progress in time lapse videoOur latest time-lapse video shows the progress made on our building deconstruction project from January to March. This is the second video we’ve released. The first time-lapse video showed progress from November 2013 to January 2014. We assemble these videos from photos taken by cameras posted in five different locations around our downtown campus. Each one takes a picture every 15 minutes. We’ll be posting time-lapse videos every quarter. And we’re posting new photos each week to our @NM_MKE Twitter account. See more.


Stolen Bases, Happy Faces

stolen bases happy faces Our Northwestern Mutual Foundation and the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation will once again collaborate on Stolen Bases, Happy Faces. Throughout the 2014 Major League Baseball season, every Brewers stolen base at Miller Park will result in a $1,000 donation to Ronald McDonald House Southeastern Wisconsin to increase services for children and families fighting childhood cancer and other diseases. Join two-year-old childhood cancer patient Emily (left in picture) in keeping count this season. We’re also proud to support the 50/50 raffle, new this season. During every home game in 2014, 50/50 tickets will be sold to fans for $2 each. The Brewers will announce the winning number and amount on the scoreboard prior to the famous racing sausages race. Fifty percent of the net proceeds from the day’s ticket sales will go to one fan and the remainder will support local nonprofit organizations throughout Milwaukee. Learn more about our Foundation.

Childhood Cancer Program Video Wins Film Award

award winning videoWe’re proud of our Northwestern Mutual Foundation, whose video won the prestigious 6th Annual Boston College Corporate Citizenship Film Festival Award. The award recognizes our effectiveness in telling Northwestern Mutual’s corporate citizenship story to internal and external audiences. Initial voting for the 66 original video entries was carried out online, and when the votes were counted, our video advanced to the final round of top 10 vote-getters. A panel of judges carefully evaluated each one and determined that ours stood out from the rest. Watch the award-winning video.

Recognizing Work in our Neighborhoods

work in our neighborhoodsOur Northwestern Mutual Foundation recently received the Milwaukee Awards of Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) Vision Award, recognizing our company’s strong philanthropic focus on neighborhood investment as well as our ongoing commitment to Milwaukee as evidenced by our downtown expansion project. The award was presented to Northwestern Mutual by the Milwaukee Advisory Board of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national nonprofit that helps local communities achieve their community development goals.Learn more about our commitment to Milwaukee.

Reciting the Gettysburg Address

gettysburg addressRecently a group of Northwestern Mutual employees memorized Abraham Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address and gathered in front of the Milwaukee War Memorial to proudly recite it in unison. Sponsored by our Military Veterans Employee Resource Group, the reciting was videotaped as part of a national effort led by documentarian Ken Burns to encourage people to memorize the speech. Lincoln delivered the address at a Civil War battleground cemetery in 1863. Individuals and groups nationwide have participated in the project, which correlated with Burns’ recent documentary, “The Address,” aired on PBS April 14. Watch our group in action.

Bringing Veterans Together

bringing veterans togetherOur Military Veteran’s employee resource group (ERG) hosted the first Milwaukee Veteran’s Summit, “Impact through Collaboration,” on our downtown campus in April. Participants represented corporate resource groups from GE, Kraft Foods, Miller Coors, Northwestern Mutual, Caterpillar, Johnson Controls, Medical College of Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation, UW Milwaukee Veteran’s Resource Center, Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs, Employee Support of Guard and Reserves (ESGR) and the American Red Cross. The event created opportunities for the exchange of information and ideas across a spectrum of experience levels and organizational structures. See other military veterans who are part of Northwestern Mutual.

General Contractor Named; Local SBEs Can Bid

We’re excited to announce Gilbane Building Co. and C.G. Schmidt, Inc. as the general contractor partnership to oversee construction of our Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year and be completed in 2017, creating at least 1,000 construction-related jobs in the meantime. We’re focusing on hiring small business enterprises (SBEs) for 25 percent of the total construction cost and Milwaukee residents for 40 percent of the hours on the construction site. We’ve already hired about 50 Wisconsin-based companies, including more than 30 local SBEs, to help with project-related activities. Now we’re reaching out to the community to proactively communicate opportunities for SBEs to be involved. Click here to learn more.

Traffic Lane and Sidewalk Closures

traffic lane and sidewalk closures 

Upcoming utility work will close two lanes on Van Buren Street between Wisconsin Ave. and Mason St. and move the bus stop serving MCTS bus route 30. Beginning Friday, March 28, the bus stop and shelter will relocate northward to midway between Mason and Wells. Tuesday, April 1, the south lanes of Mason St. will be closed from Prospect to Van Buren. There will be no eastbound through-traffic on that section of Mason, and the Cass Street intersection will be closed for 3-4 weeks, shifting the crosswalk slightly northward. On Wisconsin Ave., major utility work at the NE corner of Van Buren and Wisconsin will close two crosswalks. Pedestrians should use the Cass Street crosswalk to cross from the north side to the south side of Wisconsin Ave. Thank you for your patience as we make every effort to avoid closing streets entirely. The utility work will be done by Memorial Day. Sign up for travel email alerts.

Offering Hope to Bullied Teens

it gets better tourNorthwestern Mutual recently sponsored the Milwaukee Tour of the It Gets Better project, a global movement that encourages people to speak up against hate and intolerance and provides a message of hope to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youths and other bullied teens. Members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, touring with the project, performed in front of a full house at a luncheon for our LGBT and Allies (LGBTA) Employee Resource Group. The It Gets Better cast also performed at the Marcus Center and visited several local high schools and Marquette University during the Milwaukee Tour. Learn more.

Supporting Milwaukee’s Performing Arts Scene

united performing art funds campaign We recently wrapped up another successful United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) campaign, breaking our giving record and exceeding our employee participation goal. We’re the largest corporate funder of the largest performing arts campaign in the country. The 38 Milwaukee UPAF member groups and affiliates provide more than 2,000 local performances and generate more than $236 million for the local economy each year. Our fundraising efforts will help these groups continue to contribute to the vibrant performing arts scene that helps make Milwaukee a great place to live, work and play. Photo: Employees try out instruments brought in by a local vendor during the campaign. Learn more.

March 2014

Candidates for Construction

new buildingWe’ve invited four teams to make proposals to serve as general contractor for construction of the new Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons. Local and small business enterprises can contact these firms to explore sub-contracting opportunities for a project that will reshape Milwaukee’s skyline. The firms are: Clark Construction Group, LLC with Hunzinger Construction Co.; Gilbane Building Co. with C.G. Schmidt Inc.; Lend Lease Construction; and Mortenson Construction. More than 50 local businesses are working with us to help design the new Tower and Commons, deconstruct our 16-story east building and relocate campus utilities. We’re committed to providing jobs to local residents. Learn more.

Winning Praise

new buildingOur downtown expansion is winning statewide awards. Our renovated Van Buren Office Building was selected by The Daily Reporter newspaper as one of Wisconsin’s Top 30 construction projects of 2013. The projects were narrowed from a field of 80 submissions based on criteria such as a commitment to sustainable construction, positive effects on the surrounding area, innovation and more. Our commitment to hire local small business enterprises to work on our campus expansion was also recognized with the Corporation of the Year award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin. Learn more about our distinctions.

Celebrating History

new buildingDr. Eve Hall, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milwaukee, kicked off our Black History Month celebration on Feb. 3 with a presentation and interactive group discussion that offered a unique perspective of African American history and progress. The event was hosted by Northwestern Mutual’s African American Employee Resource Group as part of its ongoing Speaker Series. Learn more about diversity and inclusion at Northwestern Mutual.

February 2014

Deconstructing the East Building

downtown deconstruction craneThere’s been a flurry of activity on our downtown campus as crews work to deconstruct our east building. In the last few months they’ve taken down two skywalks, erected scaffolding around the building, brought in a fleet of heavy equipment and installed a 19-story tower crane. Catch all the action in an exciting time-lapse video of the deconstruction site made from photos taken since November. Five cameras installed on surrounding buildings are taking photos every 15 minutes. We’ll keep you in the loop with more videos in the future.

Helping Kids Fight Cancer and Blood Disorders

children's hospital of wisconsin checkOur Northwestern Mutual Foundation is donating $2 million to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to fund a new facility for kids fighting cancer and blood disorders. The Northwestern Mutual Day Hospital for Childhood Cancer, slated for completion in 2015, will provide outpatient treatment for children with cancer and blood disorders. It will house exam, treatment and conference rooms as well as a “community room” where care can be delivered while patients and families engage in play and educational activities led by specially trained staff. It will also have a pharmacy. Learn more.

Using Our Experience to Teach Others

masters class We’re sharing our Tower and Commons project with local architecture, design, engineering and real estate students through a "Master Class" that provides an inside learning experience. About 85 students and faculty advisors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Mount Mary University and Marquette University hear firsthand from architects, engineers and other professionals who are working on our downtown expansion. Six sessions are scheduled between December 2013 and May 2015. Pictured is Emma Gabor, an interior design student at Mount Mary University. Learn more.

Repurposing Materials to Help Fight Hunger

downtown plazaAs we deconstruct our east building to make room for the new Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, we’re pleased to be able to support Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force and repurpose some materials at the same time. Slabs of our building’s granite will top seating areas and pave a small gathering area in front of a new Welcome Center the task force is building at the task force’s farm in Franklin. We also regularly sponsor seed and fertilizer purchases for the farm, and many of our employees volunteer there. Learn more.

Hiring Our Heroes

hiring u.s. military veteransAs part of our ongoing commitment to hire U.S. military veterans, members of our Military Veterans Employee Resource Group took part in a January 16, 2014, Hiring Our Heroes job fair. Sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and several state and local partners, the event was held at Milwaukee Goodwill Industries’ James O. Wright Center for Work and Training. Our employees spoke with about 100 veterans during the 3-hour event, telling them about job opportunities with Northwestern Mutual and instructing them in how to apply online. Learn more.

Celebrating MLK with a “Day On”

martin luther king jr day On Monday, January 20, Northwestern Mutual observed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as “a day on, not a day off,” giving employees the opportunity to participate in Day of Service volunteer activities. More than 400 employees volunteered at schools and nonprofit organizations throughout Milwaukee, organized by the company’s African American Employee Resource Group and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation.  Approximately 60 employees from Northwestern Mutual took their families along to help paint, clean and organize at Milwaukee’s Gwen T. Jackson School. The school is in the Amani area, a neighborhood Northwestern Mutual is working with to build and support community-driven change to improve the quality of life for its residents. Learn more.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion

human rights campaign For the second year, we scored 90 out of a possible 100 points in the recently announced 2014 Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index survey. The Corporate Equality Index helps gauge trends and best practices among businesses related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the workplace. Results of the index can help guide and inspire companies' development of non-discriminative and inclusive policies. The 2014 survey is designed to reflect best-in-class operations. High ratings from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation are given to companies that meet the workplace needs of the LGBT community. Learn more.


January 2014

Preparing to Build

Watch for continued and additional lane closures around our construction site. Beginning Saturday, Feb. 8, the utility work will turn the corner at Mason Street, temporarily closing three traffic lanes between Prospect and Marshall, making that section of Mason a one-way street going west until approximately mid-April. The lane and sidewalk closures on the west side of Prospect Avenue, south from Mason Street to the curve, will remain blocked off during the project, which will be completed this spring. Our downtown campus expansion is a huge, complex project. We’ll continue to notify you of street and sidewalk closures in advance whenever possible. We are making every effort to keep inconveniences to a minimum. Subscribe for travel email updates.


December 2013

United Way Goal


united-way-goalWe exceeded our United Way goal this year, proving once again that we LIVE UNITED. Our generous employees donated more than $1,770,000 – nearly $50,000 above the company goal – to this year’s campaign. That amount includes more than $1.6 million in pledges and $ 111,000 in special events. More than 82 percent of our employees donated. Learn More.



Supporting Local Charities


days-of-sharingEvery year our employees nominate favorite local charities to receive a donation. Our Northwestern Mutual Foundation chooses 25 at random and then notifies the nominating employees. This year we added Employees Choice awards, letting employees vote for charities to receive larger gifts. Recipients are: Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, $35,000; ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis), $25,000; Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center, $25,000; Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, $20,000; and Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, $15,000. Learn More.


Saluting Our Military


saluting-our-military1On Oct. 3, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Schlifske signed the Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve. The statement reaffirms Northwestern Mutual’s pledge to support our Guard and Reserve employees and encourage others to join us. We’ve initiated a new recruiting effort aimed toward veterans and recently launched a dedicated website to help them consider making the career transition. We will also increase our presence at military veteran career fairs.

Helping Disaster Victims


red-cross-responder-logoOur Northwestern Mutual Foundation recently donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross (ARC) to assist the relief effort in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. This is in addition to our 2012 commitment to the ARC of $500,000 over two years for disaster relief. Our foundation also has set up websites for our employees and financial representatives across the country to donate to the ARC’s efforts to aid the typhoon victims as well as the tornado victims in the Midwest. Learn more.


Feeding the Hungry


feeding-the-hungryWith the holidays fast approaching, this fall our employees were challenged to collect enough ingredients to make 1,600 green bean casseroles for the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. In true Northwestern Mutual form, we knocked it out of the park. Many departments came up with creative competitions, and in all we collected 8,738 cans of green beans, 4,607 cans of cream of mushroom soup and 2,812 cans of French-fried onions – nearly doubling our goal for complete casseroles. Learn More.




Novemeber 2013

Bye for Now - See You in 2017

bye for nowWe lit up our East Office Building this week with “B4N CU17” – text language for “Bye For Now, See You in 2017.” The goodbye message refers to our building deconstruction, making way for the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons scheduled to be completed in 2017.  Share the photo via Facebook and Twitter.






Building Jobs in Milwaukee


design unveiled for northwestern mutual tower and commons.We’re already partnering with more than three dozen local companies to prepare for the demolition of our east building in downtown Milwaukee. And on October 1, we announced the names of more than a dozen Milwaukee-area firms that will serve in a variety of roles related to the construction of our new 1.1 million-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons. See who’s helping us build.


October 2013

Introducing the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons

design unveiled for northwestern mutual tower and commons.On September 25, 2013, Northwestern Mutual Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John E. Schlifske unveiled the design of Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons. The new development will preserve 1,100 downtown jobs while creating 1,900 new ones, welcome residents and visitors to a downtown landmark, and anchor Milwaukee's lakefront development. The project will also employ nearly 1,000 construction workers. Watch this video to learn more.

See the Future

design vignettes for northwestern mutual tower and commonsView an exciting series of vignettes featuring designs of Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, a building that will reshape Milwaukee's skyline and serve as a beacon for the Northwestern Mutual family, Milwaukee residents, and visitors to our hometown.

Get an Inside Look

top of the tower

We want Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons to create a beautiful complement to the Milwaukee skyline and build a workplace that meets the practical needs of our business. Take a look at our interior design renderings revealing:


Photo Gallery

June 2014

View from Cass & Mason

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Mason Street Entrance

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The Commons

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The Business Center

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The Business Center

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Public Cafe Seating

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High-Tech Training Room

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Meeting Room

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The Grand Hall

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September 2013


View from Lake Michigan

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View from Southeast

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View from Northwest

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View from Mason Street

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View from East

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View from Northwest

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View from East
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View from Southeast
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View from North
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the commons 

The Commons

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view above the gardens 

Above the Gardens

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view of the gardens 

View of the Gardens

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mason street entrance interior 

Mason Street Entrance

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office floor view 

Office Floor View

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view of top of tower 

Top of the Tower

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employee restaurant 

Employee Restaurant

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view of south atrium 

South Atrium

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Enhancing O'Donnell Park

UPDATE: On Thursday, November 6, the Milwaukee County Board postponed the vote on whether to allow Northwestern Mutual to purchase O’Donnell Park. Our proposal will go back to the full County Board for a vote on Thursday, December 18.

We proposed in July to purchase O’Donnell and make more than $6.5 million in immediate upgrades to the parking structure as well as enhance the high-quality open space for the entire community to use and enjoy.

With so many positive developments coming to life along the downtown lakefront, O’Donnell can have a significant role in the lakefront’s future. Maintaining and enhancing the structure and park space above the garage will make it an even more valuable asset to surrounding businesses, downtown residents, and Milwaukee’s lakefront cultural assets.

Below is a variety of resources about Northwestern Mutual’s proposal, including a financial analysis conducted by the county, recent media reports and more.

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