Northwestern Mutual

  www.northwesternmutual.com
  www.northwesternmutual.com

Northwestern Mutual Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2009's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
45 Reviews
4.2
45 Reviews
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Northwestern Mutual Chairman and CEO John E. Schlifske
John E. Schlifske
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you are one of the few that make it (5%), there is unlimited income potential (in 56 reviews)

  • Unlimited earning potential, full autonomy with work (in 37 reviews)


Cons
  • Will have to sell life insurance to friends and family which could be awkward for some (in 117 reviews)

  • There is no base salary so getting started is very difficult (in 46 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    eat what you kill

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Representative in Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Financial Representative in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    You can make your own schedule. You will make as much money as you want depending on how hard you work. The work environment is really supportive and full-time representatives are very helpful. The company puts an emphasis on full-time representatives helping out interns and the full-time reps are receptive and really enjoy working with interns. The company's annual meeting is definitely a good time too.

    Cons

    As an intern, it is pretty difficult to find a lot of quality leads. Where full time representatives are able to use people within their social circles to find prospective business, most interns have other college students in the social circles. The majority of college students don't have the motivation or financial means for insurance purchases. There's not really any risk for NMFN because they basically ensure business from your family and have very little financial obligation from you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The monitoring and programs in place for interns are pretty successful.

    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    There are much better internships out there, however you get a guaranteed $400/mo + comm so its not too bad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Wellesley, MA
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Wellesley, MA

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Great work/life balance. Aside from the mandatory weekly meetings for which you get paid $100/meeting, you can set your appointments for whatever time you see fit.

    Cons

    Unsteady paycheck. They make you sell to friends and family. Start the day at 7:30am. Whole life insurance is a waste of money for anyone not making ALOT of money and they push it on young professionals and others that don't need it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move away from friends and family and generate your own leads through advertising.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good learning opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Representative in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Financial Representative in New York, NY

    I worked at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    There is a good opportunity to learn about life insurance and investments.

    Cons

    The management was often scattered and not very keen on developing individuals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time with new workers.

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    A great opportunity for those who are willing to work for it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Champaign, IL
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Champaign, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Three words: Income, Independence, Impact. When you begin at Northwestern you have limitless possibilities. Your income is based solely on your work. When you work hard and do the activity asked of you, you will be compensated very well. No one will ever put a limit on how much you are worth in terms of income. Secondly, you are running your own business. No one will tell you, "you can't go on vacation", or "you can't take your wife to that doctors appointment". You set your own schedule and get your work done on your time. Finally, you have an awesome impact on your clients. You learn intimate details about your clients and help them achieve their goals and aspirations. You help people achieve financial independence and security. You become a very important part of your client's lives.

    Cons

    The downside of this career is that it is the most difficult thing your will ever do. As a business owner, you will go into debt early on. Think of that as an investment into your business that will pay off in the future. You will also work long hours in the first couple of years. You will need to meet with clients when you can, including nights and weekends. You will also face a lot of rejection. Out of 10 people you call on, five will meet with you, three you will take through your process, and one will buy from you. This is a career built upon numbers, like any sales career. You will need to keep a high level of activity in this career to survive. Those who do, will be overpaid for the rest of their lives. Those who don't, will leave will the skills and knowledge needed to dominate their next opportunity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would ask for the Senior Management to maintain the company's mutuality. That is Northwestern's strongest asset, its mutuality. Never forget that the company is in business for the mutual benefit of its policyholders. As such, we need continue to treat our clients like gold, even the ones who don't have large investments or policies. The best thing for our clients is to have a well trained and equiped force of agents and advisors. I agree we need to focus on attracting new representatives to grow the company, but the next step needs to be retaining those representatives. We have a higher retention than the industry, but this could be better. Continue to create insentives for representatives to do joint work so it is equally beneficial for the lead and novice agent. I see too many agents losing sales and opportunities to help our clients because they couldn't get another agent to come along. Higher agent turnover is not fair for clients or other agents in the office. Keep the client first, always.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Northwestern Mutual has every opportunity a man or woman could dream of.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Northwestern Mutual provides opportunites to grow professionally as well as personally. Historically Northwestern is a remarkable company with numerous achievements and accolades but what makes Northwestern even better is the fact that as a whole the support encourage as well as family feeling we recieve here is unmatched.

    Cons

    The biggest downside is that it is a very difficult career and it isnt for everyone, but most people that work hard and have a desire to be very successful end up putting themselves in a position to provide for their families every need and want.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continually encourage and offer support for their field staff and to always stay closely connected especially with the young Financial Representatives,

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work and be ready to slowly advance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    I feel the company overall is very ethical and conservative with their investments. The free lunch is certainly a plus. Also, the multiple locations, one downtown and one in the burbs offers an opportunity to work closer to home. Once you've been able to network with other people, it can be easier to move to different roles.

    Cons

    There is no defined path for getting a promotion. It really is a mystery. There are also no defined career paths for roles.

    Additionally, the work-life balance is not consistent across departments. Some people can work from home and others cannot. Some can leave for doctors appoints during the day and come back with no problem, others need to take vacation days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people that are doing the work, not your peers.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    NMFN is a great place to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Financial Representative in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Associate Financial Representative in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    It is a great company with a long standing record and a strong executive team. There are many learning opportunities and you make what you put into it.

    Cons

    There is not much room for career advances. By this I mean that you are either a financial representative, you manage an office or you move to Milwaukee and work for the home office. As an associate financial rep and as an operations manger my only choices were to either become a rep and sell or move to the home office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would tell Senior Management to listen to the reps and associates as they are the ones who get their hands dirty daily. There is a lot of red tape in some processes that could be avoided if Senior Management listened to those beneath them.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Is Northwestern Mutual for me?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - College Intern (Going Full-Time In January!) in Provo, UT
    Current Employee - College Intern (Going Full-Time In January!) in Provo, UT

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Whether you are a Full-time Financial Representative, or a part-time College Intern Northwestern Mutual provides an experience that can help you 1- decide if the industry is right for you, 2- helps you determine what specialty or niche you are most suited to work in, and finally you have a leadership team and back office support staff that helps you every step of the way.

    Cons

    This industry is not for everyone. For the right person it can be a dream for the wrong person a nightmare. people who do not have a strong economic base or those that can't take the financial risk of not being able to make "significant" income for at least 6 months should consider whether or not this career choice is suitable for you. For College kids I think that that the Northwestern Mutual internship provides that best experience for a college person to have if they foresee a career in finance post education. if you don't like working with people face-to-face and or can't handle rejection, or have less than stellar follow-up skills this career will eat you alive. This business is all about creating business opportunities through enduring relationships that can last for generations. Probably the biggest barriers to success for new people coming into the business is: 1- lack of financial feasibility (Northwestern actually helps off set this with a 4-6k stipend and a training allowance plan that helps new reps smooth cash flow) 2- fear of "selling" to friends and family (if you don't believe that you have something of value to offer people by helping them with their financial security ( believe it or not we do provide people value) than either you don't understand what you have to offer or your opinion of yourself and personal integrity are out of whack)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to build on the internship platform. I came through the internship ranks and am glad I did. Having the opportunity to see how the business works while still in college helped me learn academically what I knew I would need in the "real world". Other things that I think senior management should focus on would be updating our mobile platform to include the iPhone (I heard that it might be available in Q2 of next year??) as well as have guidelines and provide opportunities for younger reps like myself to leverage the internet more for prospecting and marketing.

    Recommends
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    PLAY HARD year round at Northwestern Mutual!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director of Recruiting in New Orleans, LA
    Current Employee - Director of Recruiting in New Orleans, LA

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Family Oriented Culture. Values. Opportunity. Job Security & Stability. Recognition. Opportunities to grow. Everyone is important. THE FUN! We're always celebrating! Whether it's a trip to Cabo San Lucas, inviting Steven Forbes in for Dinner, crawfish boils or throwing a "Thanks a Trillion" Party at the top of the Ritz Carlton, NM folks are always having a good time and celebrating their success! Alot of folks think just because we're in finance and insurance means that we are boring! Whatever! We've got one of the Nations Top Ten Internship programs, so the college kids keep us young!! You want to really see a party? Come to Milwaukee the last week in July and we NM folks will show you a good time!!!

    Cons

    You can get too passionate about working there that you overwork yourself. Sometimes it's hard to leave work, because when you are doing something to help others you feel good about it and well.... it really doesn't seem like work. Basically, you can experience burnout if you are not careful.

    It's sad sometimes. We work in a business where we are protecting families financially. When we have a client pass away it feels like someone in our family has passed away. We have strong relationships with our clients and we are there in the most important times of their lives....sometimes it's not the best times. It can be difficult to watch your friend die or become disabled. That's why our work is so important...helping protect families and loved ones from financial burdens.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep being humble and keep listening to your staff. Continue to put clients first and we'll stay strong.
    Keep following our 120 year old mission statement to always value quality over quanity and do what's best for the client.
    Thanks for all the encouragement and leadership! Great JOB!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great organization with friendly people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Financial Representative in Troy, MI
    Current Employee - Associate Financial Representative in Troy, MI

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Great organization with wonderful people. Everyone is friendly and pleasant to be around. Every day is a new day the work is always challenging. You get to talk to many different people every day. The atmosphere is professional yet casual and open. You work business hours so your nights and weekends are free. The company has an excellent reputation and employees can feel proud to work for such an admired organization.

    Cons

    Insurance can get rather boring. You should probably keep an eye on the stock market. Sometimes clients can drive you a little crazy. It can be frustrating dealing with high maintenance and problem clients

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing a great job.

    Approves of CEO

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