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Mutual Fund Attorney

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

We're strong, innovative and growing.  In a company with such a long and storied history, this may be the most exciting and important time to be a part of Northwestern Mutual.

We invest in our people.  We provide opportunities for employees to grow themselves, their career and in turn, our business.

We care.  We make a positive difference in our communities. Nationally, thousands have benefitted from our support of research and programs to fight childhood cancer. Each year, our Foundation, employees and financial representatives donate time, talent and financial support to causes they're passionate about.

The Northwestern Mutual Law Department is seeking an experienced, independent, and agile mutual fund attorney interested in joining a diverse, challenging, and fast-paced practice advising the Company on a wide range of issues as the Company works to transform how clients experience financial security.

What's the role?

This attorney will be a member of the Law Department’s Investment Products and Advisory Services Team and will primarily focus, as part of a sub-team of lawyers and paralegals and working closely with the Company’s compliance professionals, on supporting our proprietary mutual fund complex that serves as an investment option for our variable insurance products and the registered investment adviser for that complex.  This attorney will report to the VP-Investment Products and Services in the Law Department.  Most Northwestern Mutual legal work is handled entirely in-house, including the production of mutual fund registration statements, the preparation of all regulatory filings and shareholder reports for the fund complex and its adviser, and the coordination and support of all mutual fund and adviser Board meetings.

Examples of the type of work this attorney will engage in as a member of the Investment Products and Advisory Services Team, includes:

  • Analyzing SEC rule proposals and adoptions applicable to investment companies and registered investment advisers, advising our business clients on requirements and risks, and serving on project teams to implement such rulemakings.

  • Assisting in preparing regulatory filings on behalf of the mutual fund complex and its registered investment adviser including registration statements, prospectus supplements, shareholder reports, proxy statements, ADVs, etc.

  • Developing materials for quarterly mutual fund Board meetings, presenting at such meetings on relevant topics and recording minutes of certain Board committees.

  • Assisting in sub-adviser selection and onboarding for our mutual fund complex including preparing non-disclosure agreements and investment management agreements, participating in the RFP process and preparing related Board material.

  • Supporting mutual fund and investment adviser committees (e.g., brokerage, proxy, liquidity risk management, etc.).

  • Contributing to the launch of new funds within our mutual fund complex.

In addition to base salary discussed below, Northwestern Mutual offers a competitive total rewards package including eligibility for a bonus under the Company’s annual incentive compensation plan.

Bring Your Best! What this role needs:

  • Candidates must have at least ten years of legal experience gained at a law firm, in-house and/or through a fund services provider advising on mutual funds under the Investment Company Act of 1940, their registered investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and related regulations as well as preparing related regulatory filings.  Experience with the securities law aspects of variable insurance products, including their registered investment company separate accounts, would be desirable.  Experience with other securities and/or banking laws, including with respect to registered broker-dealers or OCC-regulated national banks, is a plus.

  • Experience with mutual fund Board governance, including working effectively with outside Board members.

  • Experience with starting new mutual funds and with changing mutual fund sub-advisers.

  • To qualify, this candidate must be able to analyze a variety of legal issues, synthesize complex information, and provide solution-oriented legal advice to business professionals throughout the enterprise.  

  • A candidate must have an exemplary academic record and a Juris Doctorate degree; note that a license to practice law in the State of Wisconsin or a commitment to become licensed within the first year of employment is required.

Desired personal attributes:

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, a highly analytical and curious mind, strong attention to detail, creative, comfortable dealing with ambiguity, of high integrity and ethical standards, and evidencing a positive demeanor.

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and contribute effectively in a team environment and across teams within and outside of the Law Department; exceptional partnership and relationship building skills.

  • Self-motivated with the ability to work proactively and autonomously and to effectively prioritize multiple tasks at the same time.

  • A keen problem-solving approach using sound legal reasoning and practical business judgment to identify and address risks and achieve results that balance benefits for all parts of the enterprise.

  • The scope of this role may change over time to respond to business needs.  The successful candidate will be flexible and adaptable in terms of general skill sets and aspirations.

Information About Our Law Department and Northwestern Mutual:

Of the Northwestern Mutual Law Department’s approximately 130 members, about 80 are lawyers, having come to Northwestern Mutual from all around the country after having graduated from a multitude of law schools and undergraduate institutions and having practiced in a wide variety of settings.  The balance of the Department consists of highly skilled paralegals and research and administrative professionals who support significant aspects of the Department’s operations.  Our Law Department (in every aspect of its operations, including the Law Department Leadership Team, the Department’s practicing lawyers and paralegals, and the Department’s professional administrative staff) is inclusive and diverse, comprising a rich mixture of people who come from a wide variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds and includes people of color and those who are openly gay or lesbian.

The Northwestern Mutual Law Department provides the vast majority of legal services in nearly all disciplines directly to the Company, with only select utilization of outside counsel.  There are nine main legal practice teams within the Law Department:  Investment Products and Advisory Services; Digital and Enterprise Operations; Insurance Products and Operations; Corporate; Distribution; Litigation; Enterprise Governance; Securities Investments; and Real Estate Investments.  Lawyers have the opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of the Company’s business needs, and we are fully engaged in the execution of the Company’s business strategy.  This allows us to provide the most timely and effective counsel in an efficient manner and leads to greater career satisfaction for our attorneys, paralegals, and professional administrative staff.

Northwestern Mutual has been helping people and businesses achieve financial security for more than 165 years. Through a holistic planning approach, Northwestern Mutual combines the expertise of its financial professionals with a personalized digital experience and industry-leading products to help its clients plan for what is most important.  With $359 billion in total assets, $36 billion in revenues, and $2.3 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 5 million people with life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, and brokerage and advisory services. The company manages more than $281 billion of investments owned by its clients and held or managed through its wealth management and investment services businesses. Northwestern Mutual ranks 111 on the 2023 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies.


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 additiona l 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.