Northwestern Mutual considers workforce changes

Low interest rates "putting pressure on companies across our industry"

Northwestern Mutual headquarters
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.'s headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

Citing the prolonged period of low interest rates, Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. said today it is evaluating its workforce needs and some positions will be impacted.

“We’re streamlining processes and identifying new ways to work efficiently,” said Betsy Hoylman, Northwestern Mutual director of corporate communications, in a statement. “While we will continue to grow our business and hire accordingly, there will be impact to some positions over time.”

Northwestern Mutual headquarters
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

Hoylman said the company has remained competitive by evaluating its business and doing what is best for clients while also managing the business as efficiently as possible.

“This is especially important as unprecedented low interest rates are putting pressure on companies across our industry. To maintain our strong financial position and serve our clients’ needs, we are evaluating our operations to ensure we have the skills and digital capabilities we need to take us into the future,” Hoylman said.

Her statement did not include how many positions might be eliminated, a timeline for the evaluation of operations or what areas of the business could see cuts.

Radio station AM 620 WTMJ first reported that the company had informed employees of the review in a video message from John Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual chairman and chief executive officer.

Northwestern Mutual has 5,900 employees in the Milwaukee area and is in the midst of constructing two, 30-plus story buildings in downtown Milwaukee. The company currently has 11 positions posted on its corporate careers website, many of them in software development and information technology.

In February, the company reported record revenue for 2015 of $27.9 billion, up 4.5 percent from the previous year.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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