Insurance Firm To Add 300 MN Reps, Interns In 2014

Insurance Firm To Add 300 MN Reps, Interns In 2014

Northwestern Mutual plans to add 107 financial representatives and 195 interns at several offices throughout Minnesota.

As it has done in past years, the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company announced that it's looking to add to its Minnesota work force—this time by hiring 107 financial representatives and 195 interns.

Northwestern Mutual said it intends to add the new workers in 2014 at its Minnesota affiliates The Columns Resource Group, which is based in Minneapolis, and The Bohannon Group, which is based in Mendota Heights. The Columns Resource Group has offices in Minneapolis, Edina, Woodbury, Edina, St. Cloud, and Duluth. The Bohannon Group, meanwhile, has Minnesota offices in Mendota Heights, Edina, Rochester, Mankato, and Marshall, as well as several in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Northwestern Mutual said its Minnesota hiring plans are part of a larger goal to recruit a “record-setting” 6,400 financial professionals throughout the country this year.

Northwestern Mutual said it’s growing its pool of financial representatives in the field “to keep pace with growing demand locally for financial security guidance, products, and services.” The company pointed to research suggesting that 63 percent of Americans believe their overall financial planning needs improvement and half have no plan in place—suggesting a need for more planning assistance.

“We’re seeing a need across all ages for a tailored planning approach to asset protection, growth, and savings,” Mark Heurung, managing partner of The Columns Resource Group, a Northwestern Mutual affiliate based in Minneapolis, said in a statement. “Our recruiting efforts are a direct result of that demand.”

Northwestern Mutual has announced similarly aggressive hiring goals for its Minnesota work force for at least the past few years. For example, it announced plans to hire 90 financial representatives and 175 interns in 2011, 94 representatives and 206 interns in 2012, and 104 representatives and 202 interns in 2013.

A company spokesperson on Thursday was unable to immediately answer whether Northwestern Mutual has reached its hiring goals in the past. The targets seem fairly aggressive, though, given the company's existing Minnesota presence: Northwestern Mutual currently employs 287 financial representatives in the state, the spokesperson said.

Northwestern Mutual said this week that it expects more than half of its new Minnesota hires to be “professionals who believe they have reached the ceiling in their current occupation and are looking for an opportunity to grow.”

The financial representative positions are commission-based and include medical, life, disability, and retirement benefits.

Northwestern Mutual cited a number of accolades it has received, including its inclusion on Training Magazine’s recent list of the top 125 companies for training and employee development. (Several Minnesota companies also made that list.)

According to its website, Northwestern Mutual has “$1.5 trillion of life insurance protection in force.” It offers a variety of financial services, including life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services.

A previous version of this story, which was based on information provided by Northwestern Mutual, stated that the company planned to add 150 representatives and interns in Minnesota. The company subsequently increased its hiring goals, as reflected in the story.