Northwestern Mutual expands leaders' roles

Remit adjustments effective in July

Northwestern Mutual expands leaders' roles

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

From L-R: Jeff Sippel, Christian Mitchell, Kamilah Williams-Kemp, and John Roberts

Northwestern Mutual has unveiled a series of senior leadership adjustments designed to enhance the company’s growth, boost alignment, and further develop its top executives. The changes will be effective from July 1.

Chief information officer Jeff Sippel will transition to chief strategy officer. Aside from working closely with the senior leadership team to refine the company’s strategy, Sippel’s new responsibilities will also include oversight of marketing, innovation, venture funds, analytics, and strategic investments.

Chief customer & digital officer Christian Mitchell will take on the role of chief digital & information officer. He will be in charge of the company’s technology and digital strategy, including artificial intelligence capabilities, data engineering, enterprise architecture, technology infrastructure, and information risk and cybersecurity.

Chief insurance officer Kamilah Williams-Kemp will assume the position of chief product officer. Her remit spans insurance product design, sales, and service areas, in addition to her existing oversight of underwriting, client service, advanced markets, and claims.

Williams-Kemp’s wider function, which also involves sales enablement among the firm’s 8,000-plus financial advisors, will consolidate the full insurance spectrum from product design to claims.

Chief distribution officer John Roberts will serve as chief field officer, broadening his responsibilities to include the company’s $300 billion wealth and investment management operations.

At the same time, Roberts will continue to oversee Northwestern Mutual’s exclusive distribution system while also stepping up to manage Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, and Mason Street Advisors.

Chairman and chief executive John Schlifske, who is retiring at the end of the year, stated: “This realignment for these four leaders reflects a greater focus on key business priorities including the ability to help clients plan, protect their risk, and grow their wealth through a trusted advisor and digital experience.

“It also better positions us to execute the next phase of our company strategy as we continue to deliver a differentiated value proposition and provide unparalleled policyowner value.”

Meanwhile Northwestern Mutual president Tim Gerend commented: “As we chart a path forward into the company’s next chapter, we’re realigning our organization to enhance our strategic advantages on what truly differentiates us as a company – comprehensive financial planning to protect your assets and grow your wealth to prosperity – while being laser-focused on how we deliver the greatest value to our employees, advisors, and policyowners.

“I am excited for these Northwestern Mutual leaders to expand their roles and help us continue growing our position in the market.”

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