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A.M. Best Affirms Northwestern Mutual Life's Rating; Affirms Frank Russell Company Debt Rating.



Business Editors

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 10, 2004

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed af·firm  
v. af·firmed, af·firm·ing, af·firms

v.tr.
1. To declare positively or firmly; maintain to be true.

2. To support or uphold the validity of; confirm.

v.intr.
 the financial strength rating of A++ (Superior) for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary, Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, both of Milwaukee, WI. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the "aaa" rating on the $350 million senior notes of its subsidiary, Frank Russell Frank Russell may refer to the following people:
  • Frank Russell, Baron Russell of Killowen (1867–1946), British Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and law lord
  • Frank Russell, 2nd Earl Russell (1865–1931)
See also
 Company (Russell) (Tacoma, WA). Principal and interest payments on these securities are unconditionally guaranteed Unconditionally Guaranteed is the eighth LP by Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, originally released in 1974. Upon release it was criticised for being too commercial, however it failed to give Beefheart any real chart success and peaked at #192 on the Billboard  by Northwestern Mutual.

These ratings reflect Northwestern Mutual's leading position as a provider of individual protection and wealth management products, its conservative operating strategy, high-quality investment portfolio, good earnings performance and superior risk-adjusted capitalization. The ratings also acknowledge the strength and quality of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network The Northwestern Mutual is a large mutual company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is marketed as the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Founded in Janesville in 1857, it is one of the nation's largest direct provider of individual life insurance in the United States. , its exclusive distribution system, which is operated on a variable cost basis. The company's sustained profitability is supported by its core participating life insurance line, where historically favorable fa·vor·a·ble  
adj.
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.

2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.

3.
 policy persistency and mortality experience have become competitive advantages.

Northwestern Mutual's new individual life insurance sales have generated growth rates Growth Rates

The compounded annualized rate of growth of a company's revenues, earnings, dividends, or other figures.

Notes:
Remember, historically high growth rates don't always mean a high rate of growth looking into the future.
 considerably higher than the industry over the past five years, while strong persistency has been maintained on existing business. The company has consistently provided policyowners with dividend rates that are among the industry's highest, contributing to excellent persistency and its preeminent pre·em·i·nent or pre-em·i·nent  
adj.
Superior to or notable above all others; outstanding. See Synonyms at dominant, noted.



[Middle English, from Latin prae
 position in the individual life insurance market. The growth and stability of the in-force business, combined with Northwestern Mutual's focus on operating fundamentals, has enabled it to generate favorable earnings from its traditional individual life insurance segment. In addition, its disability and individual annuity businesses strengthen Northwestern Mutual's individual insurance franchise, while consistently contributing to profitability.

In addition to extending Northwestern Mutual's global presence in asset management, Russell's mutual funds are available to retail clients through financial institutions, registered investment advisors Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a designation obtainable in the United States by an individual who has registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or state regulatory agency (where the primary business is situated or multiple States in some cases) in  and brokers and in Northwestern Mutual's variable product portfolios. On an operating basis, Russell has experienced solid growth in revenues and operating profits Operating profit (or loss)

Revenue from a firm's regular activities less costs and expenses and before income deductions.


operating profit

See operating income.
 and its debt service coverage is sufficient, notwithstanding the guarantee. Additionally, Northwestern Mutual's financial leverage is minimal at less than 5% of capital; the company has no plans to issue additional debt.

The A++ (Superior) financial strength rating of the following companies has been affirmed:

-- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

-- Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Co.

The following debt rating has been affirmed:

Frank Russell Company--

-- "aaa" rating on $350 million 5.625% senior unsecured notes,

due January 2009

For a list of A.M. Best's debt ratings, please visit http://www.ambest.com/debtratings/.

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at www.ambest.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 10, 2004
Words:445
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