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Sr Dir Srvc Advocacy & Research

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Milwaukee, WI, USA
Posted on Friday, February 9, 2024
At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.


Provides strategic direction and operational leadership for teams providing client service advocacy, research, complaints, and remediation. Serves as a thought leader by setting strategy to improve the client and field experience through resolution and complaints remediation end to end in Client Advocacy. Works to identify regulatory, high risk and pain points through complaints & escalations (formal and informal). Works with contact center leaders, service advocates, data and insights and project teams handling priority work. Develops a systematic approach to look at trending complaints and escalation on a regular basis and tracking resolution and remediation. This output would also be consumed by Client and Field Experience while working to reduce them, improving NM processes, inform products and features, rollouts, call center productivity and advisor team quality.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide direct leadership, strategic and operational direction to others, ensuring that operations are running efficiently, within budget and business outcomes are met. Accountable for the performance and results of team, ensure that work is aligned to department and enterprise priorities, and contribute to business plans and organizational priorities.
  • Responsible for building and executing complaints remediation practice and framework with the primary goal to reduce call volume and improve client and field experience. Plays a critical role in providing strategic guidance and expertise to leaders across Northwestern Mutual (NM) to set the future state direction for the company’s ongoing management of risks associated with client and field complaints and escalations.
  • Works in a matrix team of data and business analysts to identify root cause of complaints and complaint drivers, understanding their origin and working with necessary leaders to identify and develop the needed improvements, thereby improving field, client and employee experiences.
  • Identifies regulatory complaints and working with our business controls team to anticipate and identify overall client experience complaints and reports out to appropriate departments about regulatory complaints.
  • Monitors industry trends and infractions to ensures similar issues are resolved inside our organization; develops and implements solutions to resolve the issues. Provides expert level consultation and guidance to the business on related trends and issues.
  • Uses data from surveys, speech, operations, and analytics to host regular meetings with key business leaders and owners, helping them to understand their complaint drivers. Holds leaders accountable for addressing and improving pain points in their operations to reduce repetitive complaints or escalations.
  • Gains insights from leaders on complaint drivers and will help develop a complaint forecasting model to determine whether mitigation efforts are having their intended impact.
  • Creates “next best action” complaint model so staff can avoid drivers of issues that have a high tendency to end up as a complaint.
  • Works with and influences leaders cross-functionally to highlight where products, change management, and systems need to be improved to ensure our responses are within the right parameters, calls are reduced, and the best support is available for the fields and frontline team.


  • Bachelor's degree in business or related field required. MBA preferred.
  • A minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible management-level experience, including a mix of People Leader and working in a matrixed environment.
  • Demonstrated process leadership in projects or team efforts.
  • Excellent research, analytical, problem solving, planning, and organization skills.
  • Ability to prioritize concurrent ambiguous assignments with great responsiveness to changing business needs.
  • Proven ability to think and apply strategic direction across departments by considering a broad range of internal and external factors.
  • Ability to lead decision making process through idea sharing and consensus building.
  • Demonstrated ability to negotiate with Home Office, Field, and third-party vendors at all levels while exercising tact, diplomacy, resourcefulness, and understanding to maintain harmonious working relationships
  • Proven ability to build strong external networks with people in the industry and/or profession.to help anticipate future consequences and trends accurately.


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.

  • Flexible work schedules
  • Concierge service
  • Comprehensive benefits
  • Employee resource groups