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Senior Director Technical Underwriting - Disability Income and Long-Term Care

Date: Jan 28, 2019

Location: Franklin, WI, 53132

At Northwestern Mutual, we believe relationships are built on trust. That our lives and our work matter. These beliefs launched our company nearly 160 years ago. Today, they're just a few of the reasons why people choose to build careers at Northwestern Mutual.

We're strong 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're strong, innovative and growing.

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.


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.


What’s the role?

The Senior Director Technical Underwriting is responsible for leading the technical underwriting functions for Northwestern Mutual’s Disability Income (DI) and Long-Term Care (LTC) products. In this role, you are responsible for providing technical underwriting leadership, mentoring, and guidance to direct reports and the broader underwriter community, defining and driving strategies to build technical strength and critical thinking skills, and partnering with the underwriting teams to improve operational efficiencies within the underwriting and underwriting support areas.


Principal Accountabilities:

  • Applies medical, lay, occupational and financial underwriting expertise to solve unique and complex case problems, gathering support from other experts across the enterprise as needed. 
  • Responds to complex/sensitive customer complaints and questions. 
  • Balances goal to maintain industry leading mortality and morbidity with additional goals to maximize the field/client experience and to manage home office costs.
  • Partners with experts in the department and across the company (e.g. operations, actuarial) in evaluating changes to underwriting standards and requirements.
  • Independently leads departmental projects and applies cross-functional business skills as a significant contributor to intradepartmental efforts with accountability of managing scope, risk, business value, scheduling and budgets.  Examples include new product introductions and changes to the company’s model for risk selection. 
  • Leads a team of technical experts, including responsibility for performance management, employee development and culture creation.


Bring your best! What the role needs:



Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in business or related field.
  • 8 years of progressively responsible management level experience with proven leadership skills emphasizing decision making, analytical thinking, communication and change management, team building and employee development.
  • Prior underwriting experience required with a preferred minimum of 5-8 years in underwriting.  Desirable that experience includes underwriting the DI and/or LTC products.
  • Proven ability to anticipate customer needs and business issues, develop innovative solutions, and implement to achieve desired results.
  • Proven project management capabilities with accountability for managing scope, schedule, and cost.
  • Ability to adapt workflow and processes based on extensive knowledge and understanding of insurance operations.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to build rapport, negotiate and gain acceptance at all levels in the Home Office and Field.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage, develop and motivate a diverse staff in a continually changing environment.


Desirable Requirements:

  • Fellow of the Academy of Life Underwriting (FALU) or equivalent designation.
  • People manager experience 
  • Experience with business improvement solutions, including lean management and design thinking.


Note Regarding Requirements: This position may also require fingerprinting and/or FINRA registrations, or have additional physical requirements. Managers can refer to the Job Description SharePoint for this information.

ADA Disclaimer: This job description is meant to be a general description, and may not include all essential job functions or competencies needed to perform those job functions. The Company will reasonably accommodate medical needs for qualified job candidates to successfully perform the job. Job qualifications and accommodation needs are reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Req ID: 24667
Position Type: Regular Full Time
Education Experience: Bachelor's Desired
Employment Experience: 9+ years
Licenses/Certifications: Not Applicable
FLSA Status: Exempt
Posting Date: 01/28/2019