2017 annual report family

From The CEO

We recognize that people don’t think every day about the financial strength of our company. That’s why we always think about it.

Not for the ratings, accolades and acclaim we receive. Welcome as they are, that’s the result. The reason is the very real advantage financial strength provides — for us and for you.

Simply put, being financially strong increases our financial flexibility. At Northwestern Mutual, we prepare for the unexpected. We can seize investment opportunities and continually evolve our services in ways that will benefit you, our policyowners. Not least of all, our strength allows us to keep our promises while delivering the best long-term value in our industry.

Three fourths of a circle with quotes in the center. In short, our financial strength gives us the freedom to do the right thing. That means fulfilling our mission as a mutual company and putting you, our policyowners, first."

A summary of highlights from the past year demonstrates we are achieving this aim:

  • We paid $10.3 billion in benefits to you and your beneficiaries in 2017.
  • In addition, we expect to pay dividends of $5.3 billion to policyowners in 2018, one of our highest payouts ever and the largest payout in our industry. Together with benefits, that’s a total of $15.6 billion.
  • We also finished 2017 with surplus at an all-time high of $25.2 billion, $1.5 billion more than the previous year.

In short, our financial strength gives us the freedom to do the right thing. That means fulfilling our mission as a mutual company and putting you, our policyowners, first.

That always has been and always will be our primary goal.

Thank you for your confidence in Northwestern Mutual.

John Schlifske's signature

John Schlifske
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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