Northwestern Mutual caps record year

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc. today announced its 2012 financial results, which include a record dividend payout to policy owners expected to exceed $5 billion in 2013. The company paid $4.97 billion in dividends last year.

The company said its insurance and annuity lines set new sales records in 2012. The company’s combined new premium sales of life, disability income and long-term care insurance totaled $1.03 billion, up 11 percent compared to 2011. Annuity sales increased 11 percent to $1.7 billion.

“This past year’s financial and sales performance was solid,” John Schlifske, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual. “We achieved record levels in new insurance premium sales and numbers of policies purchased, and that tells me our approach to helping people plan holistically for their financial future is compelling.”

Northwestern Mutual’s total surplus increased by more than $1.2 billion in 2012 to $19.4 billion.

“In this low interest rate environment, it’s something to both pay record dividends and add to our capital base,” Schlifske said. “Still, we aren’t immune to what is happening around us. We’ve had to be disciplined in our product decisions, adjust risk levels in our investment portfolio and make tough decisions related to long-term expenses.”

The company reported 2012 net income of $783 million, up 21.4 percent from $645 million in 2011. Its total revenue for 2012 was $24.6 billion, up 4.3 percent from $23.6 billion in 2011. Northwestern Mutual also said it set a recruiting record in 2012, bringing more than 5,000 full-tie financial representatives and financial representative interns into its system.

“We have more feet on the street getting us in front of more people in more markets,” Schlifske said.


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