Most people probably think of insurance when they think of Northwestern Mutual.
Yet, despite its 160-year legacy as a life insurance provider, the company has made a name for itself in the wealth management space over the last 10 years.
On Tuesday, Northwestern Mutual’s wealth management business – Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. – announced that it reached $100 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31.
Christian Mitchell, president of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management, spoke to ThinkAdvisor about hitting this milestone. According to Mitchell, client investment AUM has more than doubled from 2006 to 2016.
Mitchell said the company’s strong life insurance history has helped drive this growth because the company already had deep relationships established with clients that often lasted “decades and decades.”
“As we brought investments into the picture and we had these deep relationships and this knowledge of what clients wanted, we were able to … drive tremendous growth in a short amount of time,” Mitchell said.
In 2006, Northwestern Mutual created its wealth management company, upgraded its advisory program and started the shift to a more “fully advisory approach,” Mitchell said.
Today, the company has more than 7,000 financial professionals “who are working day-to-day with individuals and families to create and manage personalized financial plans,” according to Mitchell.
“More and more of these financial professionals are building investment plans for their clients to help them grow, preserve and protect their wealth,” said Mitchell.
“We have advisors that were insurance only and now are some of the largest wealth managers in the communities they live,” Mitchell said.
According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2016 Planning & Progress Study, the majority of Americans report that integrating solutions that both grow and protect their assets is one of the most important factors in achieving their financial security.
Through its Investment Services and Wealth Management units, Northwestern Mutual provides individuals with a variety of investment products and services to help with financial protection, wealth accumulation, and estate preservation and distribution. These solutions include brokerage and advisory services, trust services and discretionary portfolio management for high-net-worth individuals.