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DUFF & PHELPS: NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY CLAIMS PAYING ABILITY RATING REAFFIRMED AT 'AAA'

 CHICAGO, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has reaffirmed the claims paying ability of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NML) at "AAA" (Triple-A). The rating reflects the company's excellent profitability, superb distribution system, conservative operating leverage, and a high quality asset portfolio.
 NML is a large mutual life insurance company based in Milwaukee with admitted assets of $43.6 billion and adjusted surplus of $3.7 billion at Sept. 30, 1993. The company provides individual life insurance, disability insurance, and both fixed and variable annuities through a career field force. NML offers high quality low cost life insurance products to the advanced market (closely-held businesses, professionals, and estate planning). The company is able to provide a low cost product because of excellent mortality experience, high persistency of its in- force business, low operating expenses, and a well executed total return investment philosophy.
 NML's return on admitted assets has averaged an exceptional 6.18 percent over the last five years. This profitability measure is well above industry norms. Through the first nine months of 1993, pre- tax operating gain totaled $1.8 billion or 5.65 percent return on admitted assets. Overall, the company has very adequate statutory capital as evidenced by an operating leverage ratio of 9.94 times at Sept. 30, 1993. This level is superior to industry averages given NML's business mix. NML executes a total return investment philosophy. This means that in addition to investment yield, a significant portion of the return on the portfolio comes from capital gains. Although, this philosophy may cause variability of returns in the short term, it has generated superior returns over the long term.
 -0- 12/6/93
 /CONTACT: Julie A. Burke, CPA of Duff & Phelps, 312-368-3158/


CO: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company ST: Wisconsin IN: INS SU: RTG

PS -- NY050 -- 0735 12/06/93 11:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 6, 1993
Words:309
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