(Northwestern Mutual headquarters from Lake Michigan. Source: Northwestern Mutual.)
Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee) has designated $50 million to form Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, which the insurer says will engage startups whose technologies have the potential to transform how consumers experience and achieve financial security. Northwestern Mutual says the investment represents a multiyear commitment that will focus on innovation to build greater digital relevance for clients, increase data-driven decision making and create back-end efficiencies with the goal of creating greater value for its more than 4 million clients.
“We want to make it easier for Americans to know what financial security is and how to achieve it,” comments Rebecca Porter, VP, corporate strategy and chairperson of the investment committee for Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. “We’re bringing together the strength and scale of a 160-year-old Fortune 100 company with leading-edge innovations of startups to transform financial planning through our trusted advisors and relevant digital tools.”
Separate Investments in Digital Solutions
Through the new VC arm, Northwestern says it will make a variety of separate investments ranging between $500,000 and $3 million to fund digital solutions to help accelerate innovation and create value for the company’s clients. A company statement reports that Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures will focus on four priority investment areas:
- Consumers’ changing preferences;
- Reimagining the client experience;
- The digital health revolution; and
- Ttransformational analytics and technologies.
Northwestern Mutual characterizes the launch of Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures as fitting within a ramping-up of investments in and relationships with early stage companies, following its 2015 acquisition of LearnVest. “We have already seen substantial benefits through LearnVest and other investments, and our goal is to continue tapping into innovators that share our passion for helping people through innovation,” Porter says.