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
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Northwestern Mutual Chairman and CEO John E. Schlifske
John E. Schlifske
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Unlimited income potential, office culture, ten week program (test drive the industry) (in 56 reviews)

  • Unlimited earning potential, full autonomy with work (in 39 reviews)


Cons
  • Will have to sell life insurance to friends and family which could be awkward for some (in 119 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Best job oportunity ever!

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

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    The most amazing place to work if you are trying to help people. It has the best dividends and can not be beat by other companies. Working for other companies and recommending their products over that of Northwestern Mutual's would be short changing your clients serious money in the long run. I believe in Northwestern Mutual and would strongly encourage hard workers to try this job.

    Cons

    Some of the management was a little pushy at times and would not accept your way of doing things. Some of the critisism was not just constructive - some of it was destructive. Not very compatable with lazy workers or people who have a fear of talking to people about products or sales.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Require set goals by the end of the week that are necessary to obtain the stipend check at the end of the week.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Northwestern Mutual - great place to work! Amazing company, great culture.

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

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Great culture - it's like family! Financial representatives (there are about 8,000 of them) have the best opportunity b/c they are able to be their own boss, make an incredible income, and still have a good work/life balance. As staff, the benefits vary depending on who you work for. The financial representatives are independent contractors who hire their own staff, so unless you work for corporate, you're working for an individual, which means benefits can be great or they can be terrible. At corporate, they have great benefits of course and free lunches, gym, etc.

    Northwestern Mutual is a highly ethical company and they highly value people of integrity. If you want to help people, this is a great company for you. Also, this company provides amazing training and support for its representatives. My husband and I both work here and it's been one of the best things to ever happen to us. We absolutely love this company, and I can honestly say that nearly every person I work with really loves coming to work every day. We have a very positive working environment! As a financial representative, your job is extremely demanding and difficult, but the rewards are amazing.

    Also, in tough economic times, it is great to know that this company is more than 150 years old and it has stood the test of time. It's financial strength is unwavering, and the leadership is always focused on maintaining the company's long-term financial strength and security. No matter how hard times get, no one here is ever worried about losing their jobs.

    Cons

    The biggest downside is that unless you work for corporate up in Milwaukee, you are working as a staff person for another financial representative. That means you are basically working for 1 person, not Northwestern Mutual as a whole. Because of that, the benefits packages can be pretty minimal. I don't have a retirement package, little vacation time, and really no room for advancement. I can always grow in my position and my job duties are constantly evolving, but I can't ever really get a promotion, unless I were to work at the corporate offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train the financial representatives to be better managers. Many of them are great at their job, but they have no clue how to manage...and ultimately they have to have those skills to build a great practice.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Northwestern Mutual is the place to be in financial services.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Partner in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Managing Partner in Cedar Rapids, IA

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Great income, independence, and the ability to impact others. Northwestern Mutual's reputation is second to none.

    Cons

    It's not easy! This career requires a lot of determination, and discipline.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Proceed with Caution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Winter Park, FL
    Current Employee - Financial Representative in Winter Park, FL

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    The products offered are exceptional, and the overall philosophy of doing the right thing for the clients at all times is attractive. They own the Frank Russell company so their clients have access to them where others would not. They also are a true mutual company so they don't have shareholders to answer to. The profits of the company go back to policyowners in the form of dividends, with five billion to be paid back to policyowners for 2008.

    Cons

    While the home office seems run well, the field office where most of the revenue generating activity takes place has minimal regulation on how employees are treated. They don't explain compensation, encourage debt, feel as independent contractors that nothing is off limits for supervision. I've seen with some of the female reps this could include their marriage, appearance, weight, languages spoken, ethnicity, age, overall attractiveness, what kind of car is driven or clothes worn. Male representatives seem to be treated more favorably, but I wouldn't want my wife working here. While there are guidelines in the Field Code of Conduct they do not seem enforceable and are more like suggestions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Follow the golden rule, ensure that training in processing paperwork is as adequate as sales training so that clients don't pay the price for inexperienced representatives and support the veterans as much as the new recruits. Soliciting feedback from those who have proven successful and actually listening to it might be useful in improving overall operations.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6.  

    Great place to work, great opportunities.

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

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Great training, best I know of in the industry for Financial Representatives.

    Cons

    A little more recognition to Associate Financial Representatives and Sales Assistants would be helpful. The Associate Financial Representatives, Sales Assistants and Marketing Assistants play a very large roll in helping the Financial Representative meet his goals. The recognition for a job well done is very public at the top, and it gets a little weaker as you go down the chain of command.
    Also, although the training is second to none for the Financial Representatives, I think the training for the sales staff could be a little more organized and concise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A little more recognition to Associate Financial Representatives and Sales Assistants would be helpful. The Associate Financial Representatives, Sales Assistants and Marketing Assistants play a very large roll in helping the Financial Representative meet his goals.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work for benefits, but not for career advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Consultant in Milwaukee, WI

    I worked at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Excellent welfare and pension benefits; compensation was better than at other firms. May not be worth sacrificing your personal self-esteem or career opportunities at other companies.

    Cons

    To much weight at the top of management, limited career opportunities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move closer to the 21st Century in management ideas and decision making. Consensus decisions are ineffective in todays business climate. To much time is wasted in meetings and not enough time used for productive work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager In Information Systems in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Manager In Information Systems in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    The company provides great benefits like lost-cost medical, dental, and vision insurance. 401k matching in addition to a retirement pension plan. The company provides free lunch to employees and contractors. There are a lot of smart people and the company is very particular about who they hire.

    Cons

    The company is very conservative and fairness is a big deal, so high performers don't get significantly higher salaries and benefits than average performers. It takes a long time to change processes and adopt new technology, although in some areas the company is ahead of the curve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the subject matter experts more to help drive the direction of the company. Take some more risks and make changes quicker.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Nice place to work. You won't be very rich working here, but neither will you be poor either.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Systems - Systems Consultant in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Information Systems - Systems Consultant in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Great work environment. Everyone is very respectful of each other. They treat their employees quite well.

    Cons

    The salaries are not very competitive. They need to a better job in that area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to make the salaries more competitive. Need to reduce the number of management layers.

    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company; Great employees

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

    I have been working at Northwestern Mutual

    Pros

    Career opportunities; great benefits; great free lunch; great campuses.

    Cons

    No many. With the growth of the company, getting things accomplished takes more time because there's more process/red tape to go through than in the past.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More empowerment of lower level management staff. Watch work/life balance issues. With technology, people are always working.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    A great company with tons of opportunity

    • 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 is recognized as the leader in the industry. The training and support are second to none. This is truely a career that you can do for the rest of your life without having to play office politics or worry about getting the next promotion.

    Cons

    It's a hard industry, especially for recent college graduates. Building a financial practice is difficult, but there is a very defined method for success. Compensation is straight commission right out of the gate, but that's not a big deal if you do what you're told to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management is in place to give the financial representatives, especially the young ones, every opportunity to succeed.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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