Our Leaders

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John E. Schlifske

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

John E. Schlifske is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual, and is a member of the Board of Trustees. Schlifske joined Northwestern Mutual as an investment specialist and later led a variety of the company's investment operations as well as different parts of its business operations.

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Michael G. Carter

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Michael G. Carter is responsible for the company's financial management functions, strategic planning and enterprise risk management oversight. Carter joined Northwestern Mutual's law department and went on to serve in a number of executive leadership roles in operations, planning and distribution.

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Joann M. Eisenhart

Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer

Joann (Jo) M. Eisenhart leads the company's People Function, which includes the human resources, communications & corporate affairs, digital workplace & corporate solutions, campus & events experiences and strategic philanthropy & community relations departments. Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual, Eisenhart was senior vice president of Human Resources at Pfizer, Inc.

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Timothy J. Gerend

Senior Vice President – Career Distribution

Timothy J. Gerend leads and is responsible for the performance of our exclusive career distribution – a field force of 20,000-plus advisors, leaders and staff nationwide committed to providing clients with financial security. Gerend works with enterprise partners to maintain a healthy and strong field system focused on delivering comprehensive plans that combine life insurance and investment solutions.

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Aditi J. Gokhale

Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Aditi J. Gokhale leads a comprehensive strategy for the company that positions marketing as an essential aspect to conducting business. Through this marketing, Gokhale aims to improve client engagement while positioning company products within the marketplace. Before taking on her role at Northwestern Mutual, she worked as the chief marketing officer for Shuttershock.

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John M. Grogan

Executive Vice President – Insurance Products and Client Services

John M. Grogan is responsible for the strategy and performance of the company's insurance businesses, as well as the support and servicing of its insurance and investment clients. Grogan joined Northwestern Mutual as an attorney and later led a variety of departments including serving as the chief executive officer of the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.

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Ronald P. Joelson

Executive Vice President & Chief Investment Officer

Ronald P. Joelson oversees management of the company's more than $200 billion general account investment portfolio. In addition, he is responsible for the company's four investment departments: public investments, Northwestern Mutual Capital, Northwestern Mutual Real Estate and investment strategy. Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual, Joelson served as chief investment officer of two global insurance companies.

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Raymond J. Manista

Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary

Raymond J. Manista is responsible for the company's law and public affairs function, which includes the law, communications, compliance/best practices and government relations departments. Since joining Northwestern Mutual, Manista has held various leadership roles across the company in law, corporate strategy and planning.

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Christian W. Mitchell

Senior Vice President – Investment Products & Services

Christian W. Mitchell is responsible for the company's investments, advisory and trust solutions, fee-based financial planning, development of investment products and services and retail investments. Previously, Mitchell worked with the company's venture capital efforts and assisted with the acquisition of LearnVest.

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Bethany M. Rodenhuis

Senior Vice President & Chief Transformation Officer

Bethany M. Rodenhuis leads a team working on transforming the company's strategic vision into priorities including improving the financial security experience of clients. Prior to her current role, Rodenhuis worked to lead the company's comprehensive distribution strategy and planning and was featured as a panelist on the Forbes Inspiring Leaders: Power of You Tour.

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Timothy G. Schaefer

Executive Vice President – Chief Client Officer

Timothy G. Schaefer is responsible for Northwestern Mutual's overall client experience, digital strategy and technology. Schaefer joined the company as a programmer, and since held several leadership positions including chief information officer and executive vice president of operations and technology.

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Emilia Sherifova

Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

Emilia Sherifova oversees the consistent changes in the digital realm of the company while also delivering the strategic priority of our digital platform. Sherifova successfully helped with the acquisition of LearnVest and before joining Northwestern Mutual, was the chief technology officer at PulsePoint.

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Alexa von Tobel

Senior Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer

Alexa von Tobel founded LearnVest, which was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in 2015, and now works to identify strategies, business opportunities and new technologies that can work to continuously improve and change the financial industry. Von Tobel began her career at Morgan Stanley and also worked at Drop.io, a start-up firm with a technology focus.

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Board of Trustees

Executive Officers