About Learnvest Inc.

From its birthplace on the Wisconsin frontier, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance writes policies for members across the US. One of the nation's largest life insurers, the company's network of representatives sells life, disability, long-term care, and employee benefits (health, dental, and retirement) products. It also offers retirement products, including annuities and mutual funds, to a clientele of small businesses and prosperous individuals. Additionally, Northwestern Mutual offers brokerage and trust services through its investment and wealth management subsidiaries.

Operations

While Northwestern Mutual has reorganized over time to bring more emphasis to its wealth management products, life insurance still accounts for the majority of its revenues. The company has also paid scant attention to an industry trend of demutualizing and remains committed to ownership by its 4 million policyholders. Northwestern has some $1.75 trillion worth of life insurance policies in force, as well as more than $125 billion in investment assets under management. 

Subsidiaries include broker-dealer Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, federal savings bank Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management, and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company.

Geographic Reach

In addition to two main business locations in Wisconsin (Franklin and Milwaukee), Northwestern Mutual operates from more than 330 offices throughout the US. In mid-2017 the company completed construction of a new office tower in downtown Milwaukee to replace an aged structure and increase capacity for new employees.

Sales and Marketing

Northwestern Mutual administers its life policies from its 330 offices across the US. Its network of registered financial sales representatives provides access to products from all of the company's business divisions.

The company has an eye on the sporting life. It partners with the NCAA to provide life insurance, wealth management, and retirement planning services. Northwestern Mutual also runs Life After Athletics, a program designed to help collegiate athletes prepare for life after college.

Financial Performance

Northwestern Mutual's revenues had grown for five years but, in 2017, revenue dipped less than 1% to $28.1 billion. That decline was driven by slight decreases in premiums and net investment income, but partially offset by an increase in other income. However, net income rose 26% to $1 billion that year as the company paid out less in benefits and cut down on its expenses. Net realized capital gains also helped lift net income in 2017.

 

Strategy

While life insurance is generally not a glitzy industry, Northwestern Mutual, formed in 1857, takes staid and steady to another level through its cautious investment and cost management strategies.

The company's strategy for stability and growth is based on its keen attention to managing operating expenses and maintaining a diversified general account investment portfolio, along with prudently managing product risk. Northwestern Mutual aims to promote the strength of its brand, increase customer loyalty, provide integrated product offerings and planning services, and invest in technology to boost its offerings.

In fact, the company is undergoing a digital transformation that touches on all areas of operations. To that end, Northwestern has increasingly focused on engineering and product management to improve risk management and other functions. 

Northwestern Mutual is also investing in its data science capabilities. In mid-2018 it partnered with Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to establish the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute. The institute's goal is to attract technology talent to the Milwaukee area and to promote data science to solve problems. The firm has also expanded its own data and analytics team as it works on streamlining operations, finding new business opportunities, and solving challenges. 

However, it shut down its LearnVest robo-advising unit in 2018 -- just three years after acquiring the unit. It will transform LearnVest to a financial education site and instead steer resources to its team of financial advisers (who have access to the company's growing array of digital tools).

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Learnvest Inc.

41 E 11th St Fl 2
New York, NY 10003-4602
Phone: 1 (212) 675-6711

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Director: Mark Batsiyan
  • Director: Jessica Scott
  • Senior Vice President: Jacquelyn White
  • Employees: 31

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY