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Assistant Director - Sourcing & Procurement (Technology)

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.


This hybrid role in Milwaukee, WI will lead strategic sourcing and procurement process of indirect spend with a strong focus on technology. A trusted advisor to senior leadership in business units and key partners in developing and managing strategic business plans for critical and strategic vendor relationships. Provide guidance on strategic sourcing, procurement services, and vendor management; negotiate multi-million dollar agreements with strategic and key vendors, typically with a 3-5 year duration; oversee enterprise and shared vendor management programs; drive organizational change to move enterprise to a centralized vendor management methodology; leverage strategic vendor relationships to drive improvement and innovation across multiple business functions; create and implement strategy for engaging vendors for corporate project portfolio initiatives within the Strategy Alignment and Execution process; apply best practices to ensure company meets regulatory and compliance standards.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Accountable for developing and negotiating software and/or hardware, telecom contracts (e.g. Enterprise License Agreements, Software as a Service Agreements, Equipment Purchase Agreements, MSAs).
  • Partner with senior leadership and other key partners across enterprise business functions to develop strategy, vendor goals and execution plans.
  • Lead procurement activities and sourcing projects including RFI/RFPs and renegotiations.
  • Develops and leads holistic enterprise vendor relationship management program with the support of business unit relationship owners.
  • Provides coaching to executive relationship owners and their teams on how to leverage strategic vendor relationships to accomplish long term objectives comprised of an appropriate balance of innovation, efficiencies and financial management of company funds.
  • Uses opportunities to develop opportunistic sourcing strategies across the enterprise by identifying future needs and current relationships among the strategic and key vendor relationships.
  • Accountable for leading complex and sensitive vendor negotiations for contracts resulting multi-million dollar investments over 3-5 year periods.
  • Leads cross departmental project teams with accountability for managing scope, risk, business value, schedule and budgets.
  • Researches best practices and proactively identifies emerging trends with vendor relationship management framework that are applicable at NM.
  • Applies best practices to ensure company meets regulatory and compliance standards. Assists in the creation, implementation and monitoring of programs as a result of industry changes.
  • Researches, analyzes and recommends significant process and workflow improvement efforts and implements initiatives that may result in extensive changes in workflow, adjustments in the organization or significant systems modifications including the addition of new work processes.
  • Provides leadership and mentoring of vendor managers in support of the vendor management lifecycle.


  • Bachelor's Degree with an emphasis in Business, Information Technology, Legal or related field preferred or an equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Minimum of 8 years of leadership in financial services industry, preferably with sourcing and vendor management experience, and/or lead negotiator experience with strategic vendors.
  • Ability to adapt to change and work in a fast-paced multifaceted environment.
  • Operational and/or procurement experience in technology (Software, SaaS, Hardware, Telecom and/or Cloud computing, etc.) preferred.
  • Ability to develop influencing relationship with varying levels of management and individual contributors from various business units.
  • Ability to sell a vision and persuade diverse audiences and influence outcomes.
  • Experience in designing approaches for senior leadership that respond to their needs.
  • Experience with contract development and execution.
  • Ability to apply knowledge across complex business areas and lead in a cross functional environment.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cross-functional relationships, influence change with diplomacy, and lead the decision making processes among senior leadership.
  • Demonstrated experience with financial analysis and modeling.
  • Excellent research, analytical, problem solving, planning and organization skills required as well as a high degree of personal initiative and motivation.
  • MBA or JD preferred


Great pay package, 401K, Company sponsored retirement plan, Educational assistance, Performance based incentive pay, Medical, dental and vision insurance, Parental leave, Caregiver time off….and more!

Compensation Range:

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Northwestern Mutual pays on a geographic-specific salary structure and placement in the salary range for this position will be determined by a number of factors including the skills, education, training, credentials and experience of the candidate; the scope, complexity as well as the cost of labor in the market; and other conditions of employment. At Northwestern Mutual, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for their role and compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. Please note that the salary range listed in the posting is the standard pay structure. Positions in certain locations (such as California) may provide an increase on the standard pay structure based on the location. Please click here for additional information relating to location-based pay structures.

Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now!

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you work or would be working in California, Colorado, New York City, Washington or outside of a Corporate location, please click here for information pertaining to compensation and benefits.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.