Updates on what Northwestern Mutual is doing to help our clients and our communities during the coronavirus pandemic. For additional information related to your account, payments and other frequently asked questions, visit our COVID-19 hub page.

HIGHLIGHTS

What We’re Doing for Our Employees, Advisors and Financial Representatives

  • We provided resources to assist our independent advisors in evaluating information around the availability of disaster relief loans and COVID-19 government funding.

  • We created financial support and training options for new financial advisor and financial representative candidates, as well as incoming interns, who are awaiting the reopening of licensing centers.

  • We rapidly created and delivered extensive virtual training for all advisors and representatives on how to work with and support clients in a virtual world.

  • To guide critical decisions, we rely on our Infectious Disease & Environmental Risk Team (IDERT), a cross-functional team created in 2009, to monitor and research the impact of the pandemic on our workforce, our clients and our communities.

  • The health and well-being of our field, employees and community come first, and with that in mind, we’ve made the decision to pivot this year's Annual Meeting to a virtual event.

  • Nearly all employees are working remotely, and we’re offering wellness resources that include virtual doctor and physical therapy visits, as well as apps and other online resources that promote fitness and self-care.

  • Supporting a diverse and inclusive culture is important whether we’re working in the same building or miles apart. We're providing employees with tips and resources for leading inclusive conversations, no matter where their teams are.

What We’re Doing for Our Clients

What We’re Doing for Our Community

  • We’re still actively hiring across our Wisconsin and New York campuses, and we welcome anyone who is interested in joining the Northwestern Mutual team to apply. We have more than 250 open positions, with roles ranging from DevOps Engineer to Communications Strategist. If you’re interested in learning more about these roles, visit our Careers page.

  • Through the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, we’ve donated more than $1.5 million to organizations like Feeding America, The United Way of Milwaukee and New York City, and the American Red Cross’ Disaster Recovery program, among others.

  • We’re continuing to support nonprofit partners like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which helps families dealing with childhood cancer, through fundraising and grants. To date, we’ve contributed $100,000 to the foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

  • We’re continuing to support local arts organizations through our annual campaign for the United Performing Arts Fund. We raised more than $545,000 during this year’s campaign.

  • We’ve launched #NMNeighbors, a program that provides employees with virtual volunteering opportunities and helps them raise money for their favorite nonprofits.

WEEKLY UPDATES

Week of May 25, 2020

OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts

In partnership with Northwestern Mutual’s Diversity & Inclusion team, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation has dedicated $80,000 in grants to help nonprofits in Milwaukee and New York City with COVID-19 relief. The organizations were chosen by our eight Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which represent individuals who share common identities, interests and their allies. Among the recipients: The Bowery Mission, Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin, Vivent Health and United Migrant Opportunity Services, among others.

Technology Outreach Program Supports STEM Education

At Northwestern Mutual, our commitment to technology extends beyond the walls of our offices. One example is our technology outreach program, hi, Tech, which provides STEM education, programming, events and real-world experiences to students in Milwaukee from kindergarten through high school. The program also grants funds to nonprofit partners who are furthering technology education and experiences. These partners, including Code for Milwaukee, Girls Who Code, Beyond STEM and SHARP Literacy, have not only continued their work with students through the coronavirus, but have also created greater online learning opportunities and virtual experiences, including upcoming summer camps and internships.

Financial Advisor Erik Stephens Provides Meals for Health Care Workers

Erik Stephens, a Cincinnati–based Northwestern Mutual financial advisor, wanted to show his gratitude to frontline health care workers so he raised money to start #CafeCOVID, which provides meals to medical personnel in the Cincinnati area. The goal was not only to provide lunches for health care workers, but also to support local food establishments by having them cater the meals.

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES

How This Florida Bakery Kept Its Doors Open Safely During the Coronavirus

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Marie Korsykov, co-owner with her husband of OfKors Bakery in Sarasota, Florida. After quickly setting up the store to be safer and more convenient, the bakery continues to serve its customers, while helping to facilitate donations of baked goods to local hospitals, police and fire departments. To read more about what they did, check out the full feature here.

Week of May 18, 2020

OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts

To help support the essential-supply needs of those affected by the coronavirus, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation is expanding its Matching Gifts Program to include contributions made to food banks, food pantries and meal programs. Donations made during the 2020 calendar year by employees and financial representatives to these types of organizations through a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Since 1966, the Matching Gifts Program has matched contributions made to nonprofit organizations that support veterans, educational institutions and childhood cancer programs.

Wealth Management Advisor Doug Miller to Complete Ironman Triathlons for Childhood Cancer Awareness

Many of us are trying to keep up with our regular fitness routines despite social distancing, but Doug Miller, a wealth management advisor in Ellicott City, Maryland, is taking it to the next level. Miller was scheduled to compete in an Ironman triathlon when it was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Instead, Miller pledged to complete the equivalent of five half-Ironman triathlons and one full Ironman triathlon between May 30 and October 17 in order to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. You can donate by visiting Miller’s fundraising page here. His goal is to raise $50,000 by mid-October.

Financial Advisor Tracy Shackelford Organizes Lunch Donations for Hospital Employees

For Tracy Shackelford, a financial advisor in Williamsburg, Virginia, sharing food with others is how you show you care. After putting out a call for donations on social media, Shackelford worked with local restaurants to provide lunches for frontline health care workers and other hospital staff members. Over the course of four weeks, Shackelford raised enough money to donate more than 1,000 meals.

CONNECTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

#QuestionsAndAdvisors Series Now on YouTube

We launched our #QuestionsAndAdvisor series on our social media channels earlier this month to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have about their finances right now. You can now find the series on our YouTube channel, where advisors will go into depth discussing everything from unemployment to retirement. This week, Jessica Salazar, a wealth management advisor in Jacksonville, Florida, answers questions about how to access cash, what to consider about your 401(k) right now, how to recover costs if you’re canceling a wedding, and more. To submit a question to be considered for a future Q&A, direct message us on Instagram or Facebook.

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES

How This California Winery Kept Its Doors Open During the Coronavirus

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we spoke with Michelle Lorenzi, a director of career development at Northwestern Mutual in Los Angeles and co-owner with her parents of Lorenzi Estate Vineyards in Temecula, California. She explains what they had to do to keep their business running despite being previously dependent on in-store purchases. Check out how the company revamped its business model by reading the full feature here.

Week of May 11, 2020

CONNECTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

#QuestionsAndAdvisors Series Answers People’s Personal Finance FAQs

Almost everyone has had questions about how the pandemic will affect their personal finances, so we launched our new #QuestionsAndAdvisor series to help answer some of them. Our financial advisors will be answering questions submitted to us via social media on topics like retirement, budgeting, saving, investing and unemployment. Most recently, Wealth Management Advisor Tom Canale answered these questions for small-business owners. To submit a question, direct message us on Instagram or Facebook.

OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

Financial Advisor Katie Jacobson Organizes Donations for Frontline Workers

Personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and shields have been in high demand, but what many may not realize is that the equipment can cause discomfort around the ears for frontline workers who have to wear them for extended periods of time. Enter ear savers, which attach to face masks to help alleviate that pain by reducing pressure and friction.

Katie Jacobson, a Minneapolis–based financial advisor who serves a lot of medical-professional clients, worked with Steve Upton, owner of 3D printing company Schmit Prototypes, to bring 3D-printed ear savers to frontline workers. Together, they donated more than 10,000 units to 11 hospitals and health care facilities in the Twin Cities area, including the Gillette Children’s Hospital.

The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts

To support the needs of health care professionals as well as local arts organizations, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation donated $70,000 to four arts groups in the Milwaukee area so that their costume makers can produce PPE for frontline workers. Employees of the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Florentine Opera and First Stage children’s theater have repurposed their skills to sew masks and gowns and create face shields for health care workers. More than 10,000 PPE pieces have been donated to Children’s Wisconsin hospital and the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The partnership is part of the Foundation's $200,000 donation to Children’s Wisconsin for COVID-19 relief efforts. You can read more about the partnership and the donation here.

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES

How This Minnesota Salon Used Life Insurance Cash Value to Stay Afloat

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we shared how client Kris Bergly, co-owner of Xalon Salon in St. Cloud, Minnesota, used a loan against the cash value in his permanent life insurance policy to help pay the bills as well as cover health insurance costs for his 22 employees. Check out the full feature here.

Week of May 4, 2020

GUIDANCE FOR CLIENTS

Flexibility on Premium Payments for Clients Impacted by the Coronavirus

Clients who are having trouble keeping up with their payments because of COVID-19-related financial hardships now have access to extended grace periods. Talk to your financial advisor to discuss your options and see if this makes sense for your situation.

OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

Financial Advisors Start a Peloton-athon to Raise Money for COVID-19 Efforts

Why not get fit and fundraise at the same time? That’s what financial advisors Mark Kull, Al Schor and Ben Feldman thought when they launched the NM Peloton 30 for 30 challenge to help raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit that supports childhood-cancer programs. The goal was to complete 30 days of exercise for 30 minutes a day.

Participants were encouraged to log their 30 days of Peloton or their exercise of choice between April and May to raise money for ALSF’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The money will be used to expand the foundation’s existing Travel for Care program by providing grocery assistance to families dealing with childhood cancer and affected financially by the coronavirus. NM Peloton 30 for 30 raised more than $30,000 within the first two weeks alone; you can still donate by visiting the group’s fundraising page. The Northwestern Mutual Foundation plans to match the total amount raised dollar for dollar. To date, the Foundation has contributed $100,000 to ASLF’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The challenge ends on May 8 and has secured more than $40,000.

Employees Support Their Favorite Nonprofits Through Virtual Volunteerism

Northwestern Mutual recently launched #NMNeighbors, a program that encourages employees to engage in virtual volunteering and random acts of kindness. For every 30 hours that employees spend helping out in their communities, their nonprofit of choice will receive a $500 grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation (up to a maximum of $1,000). Every act of kindness counts, whether it’s reading to kids online, writing thank-you notes to frontline workers or setting up a food-donation pantry on your front lawn (as Northwestern Mutual senior client care services rep Leahrae Longoria did with her next-door neighbor). #NMNeighbors is part of #NMTogether, a companywide initiative to rally behind our friends, families and communities during these trying times.

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John Schlifske on How Financial Advisors Are Helping Small Business Clients

In his most recent LinkedIn post, John Schlifske, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, highlights how Northwestern Mutual financial advisors have sprung to action to help clients with their financial concerns during these uncertain times. From spending days on end doing back-to-back video conferences to helping small business owners apply for stimulus loans, these examples exemplify the lengths advisors have gone through to help clients navigate the pandemic. You can read the full post here.

How These Small Business Owners Are Coming to the Aid of Frontline Workers

In our #OpenforBusiness series, we tell the stories of small business clients who have had to pivot amid the coronavirus. Recently, we shared how two businesses shifted their strategies to provide medical equipment for health care workers. In Minneapolis, client Benjamin VandenWymelenberg of Woodchuck, USA, a designer and manufacturer of custom wooden gifts, started producing plastic face shields to ship to doctors and nurses nationwide. Check out the full feature here. Meanwhile, in Herndon, Virginia, client Brad Palmer of IT consulting firm B3 Group is connecting organizations with 3D printing capabilities to health care workers who need specially designed medical equipment. Learn more about their story here.

Week of April 27, 2020

OUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

The Latest on Our Foundation’s Coronavirus Efforts

To help our nonprofit partners meet food and essential supply needs in our communities nationwide, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation donated more than $1.5 million to organizations that include Feeding America, Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin, the United Way of Milwaukee and New York City, and the American Red Cross’ Disaster Recovery program, among others. In addition, with our employees working from home, we’ve donated nearly 1,000 rolls of toilet paper from our Milwaukee campus to distribute to local neighborhoods we support after hearing from community leaders that residents needed these essential household supplies. You can learn more about the neighborhoods and organizations we support here.

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES

#OpenforBusiness Series Highlights Small Business Owner Clients

In our new #OpenforBusiness series, we’re sharing the stories of small business owner clients who have had to change up their strategies in order to keep their companies afloat during these difficult times. Our goal is to help get the word out so their local communities can support them, while also inspiring other small business owners facing similar struggles.

Recently, we featured Pam Kattouf and Pat Miller of Beloved Bath, a Maplewood, New Jersey, company that makes body and bath products. Despite having to put their expansion plans on hold, the company donated 600 bars of soap to a nearby nursing home. You can read more about them here. Meanwhile, in McLean, Virginia, Golfdom owner Buddy Christensen has managed to keep all his employees on payroll by getting creative with his curbside offerings. Check out the full feature here.

GUIDANCE FOR CLIENTS

What Clients Can Do to Protect Themselves From Cyberthieves

The fraud and cybersecurity team at Northwestern Mutual is encouraging clients to be more vigilant as criminals look to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic. Any suspected fraudulent activity should be reported to your Northwestern Mutual financial representative or to the Northwestern Mutual Special Investigations Unit (877-607-2485). Read their recommendations to avoid email hacking and to protect your information and accounts. You can find additional tips on how to protect yourself online here.

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