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Frequently Asked Questions


1.) What is Northern Trust Corporation and what does it do?

For more than a century, Northern Trust has worked hard building our legacy of outstanding service, expertise and integrity. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., 23 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, and 18,100 employees globally. We serve the world’s most-sophisticated clients – from sovereign wealth funds and the wealthiest individuals and families, to the most-successful hedge funds and corporate brands..

Our guiding principles not only survived but thrived during the Great Depression, two world wars and the 2008 financial crisis. We burnished our reputation as a global leader delivering innovative investment management, asset and fund administration, fiduciary and banking solutions enabled by sophisticated, leading technology. And through it all, we continually laid a solid, forward-looking foundation on which future generations can continue growing and achieving greater.

As of March 31, 2019, Northern Trust Corporation had:

  • $10.9 trillion in assets under custody/administration
  • $8.2 trillion in assets under custody
  • $1.2 trillion in assets under management
  • $122 billion in banking assets

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2.) What are Northern Trust Corporation's major business segments and what services does each provide?

Northern Trust Corporation has three main business areas:

  • Asset servicing
  • Asset management
  • Wealth management

These serve two principal client types: institutional and personal.

Asset servicing

With US$7.6 trillion in assets under custody (as of December 31, 2018), Northern Trust is a leading global provider of asset servicing, fund administration, and related services. Our institutional clients are located in more than 40 countries and we support their asset servicing needs in approximately 100 markets worldwide. Clients include asset managers, sovereign wealth funds, central banks, insurance companies, corporations, public retirement funds, foundations, endowments and financial institutions, whose complex needs drive our growth. Northern Trust has earned a reputation for high-quality client service and industry-leading technology, resulting in long-term client partnerships and frequent industry recognition as one of the world’s foremost institutional asset servicers.

Asset management

Northern Trust Asset Management is one of the world’s largest investment managers with US$1.1 trillion in assets under management (as of December 31, 2018). Northern Trust Asset Management is a multi-capability asset manager serving affluent individuals and families and institutional clients in more than 40 countries around the world. Northern Trust Asset Management’s market-leading range of global index, active fixed income and equity, and manager of managers capabilities enables customized solutions across the risk spectrum. These solutions are delivered through separately managed accounts, Northern Funds for personal investors, Northern Institutional Funds for institutional investors, bank common and collective funds, non-U.S. collective funds and unregistered investment funds. In addition to these proprietary solutions, the manager of managers subsidiary, The Northern Trust Company of Connecticut, has investments with more than 200 external managers worldwide. Investment program solutions range from retail mutual funds and alternative asset classes to emerging manager programs and total investment program management for institutions and affluent individuals and families.

Wealth management

Wealth Management at Northern Trust offers financial planning, investment management, trust and estate services, philanthropic advisory and private and business banking. Wealth Management is focused on high-net-worth individuals and families, business owners, executives, professionals, retirees and established privately held businesses. Wealth Management operates through an extensive network of offices in 18 states - Illinois, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. In distinctive, full-service facilities, experienced Northern Trust professionals work in a client service culture that is unparalleled in the industry. The Wealth Management Group provides sophisticated financial solutions to families and family offices with complex global asset structures, generally more than $200 million in investable assets. Clients of this group include more than 20% of the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans.

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3.) What are Northern Trust's competitive strengths?

  • A fiduciary heritage spanning more than 120 years
  • A client-centric, highly focused business strategy
  • An outstanding client base
  • Leading-edge technologies
  • Asset servicing capabilities in approximately 100 financial markets worldwide
  • One of the world’s largest investment managers
  • A unique Wealth Management network in the most desirable U.S. markets
  • A strong risk management culture
  • Financial strength and stability
  • A commitment to service, expertise and integrity

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4.) How does Northern Trust rank among asset servicing and custody providers?

  • Best Global Custodian – Asian Investor 2010 Service Provider Awards
  • Best Global Investor Services House – Euromoney 2010 Awards for Excellence  (July 2010)
  • Client Relationship Manager of the Year – ICFA Americas Awards (May 2010)
  • Outsourcing Provider of the Year – ICFA Americas Awards (May 2010)
  • Custodian of the Year – U.K. Pensions Awards 2010, Professional Pensions Magazine (April 2010)
  • Best Custody Specialist in Asia – Second Consecutive Win, The Asset Magazine Awards (March 2010)
  • Best Client Servicing (APAC) – Best of the Best Awards, Asia Asset Management (February 2010)
  • Securities Outsourcing Provider of the Year – Financial-i Leaders in Innovation Awards  (December 2009)
  • Special Commendation: European Custodian of the Year – Funds Europe Awards 2009 (December 2009)
  • European Client Relationship Manager of the Year – ICFA European Awards (November 2009)
  • Custodian of the Year: The Netherlands – ICFA European Awards (November 2009 and November 2008)
  • Best Overall Hedge Fund Administrator, U.S. Service Provider Awards – HFM Week (October 2009)
  • Custodian of the Year – European Pensions Awards (July 2009)
  • Pension Pooling Award of the Year – European Pensions Awards (July 2009 and July 2008)
  • Outsourcing Deal of the Year – Capital Markets – FSOkx Excellence Awards (June 2009)
  • Best Fund of Hedge Funds Administrator, European Service Provider Awards – HFM Week
    (May 2010 and May 2009 – general FOHF category)

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5.) How does Northern Trust Asset Management rank among asset managers?

  • 3rd largest manager of defined benefit assets –, Pensions & Investments, 2010 Special Report on Money Managers, as of 12/31/09, out of 425 ranked
  • 3rd largest manager of sovereign wealth fund assets –, Pensions & Investments, Top Managers of Sovereign Wealth Fund Assets, as of 12/31/09, out of 78 ranked
  • 4th largest index manager, worldwide indexed assets –, Pensions & Investments, Top Ranked Index Managers, as of 6/30/10, out of 67 ranked
  • 7th largest institutional asset manager in Asia – Asia Asset Management (September 2010), Fund Manager Survey, out of 59 ranked
  • 10th largest manager of 401(k) plan assets –, Pensions & Investments, DC Money Managers Survey, as of 12/31/09, out of 237 ranked
  • 12th largest total worldwide institutional assets under management –, Pensions & Investments, 2010 Special Report on Money Managers, as of 12/31/09, out of 79 ranked
  • 13th largest U.S. money manager – Institutional Investor (July/August 2010), II 300 – America’s Biggest Money Managers, out of 300 ranked
  • 15th largest total worldwide assets under management –, Pensions & Investments, 2010 Special Report on Money Managers, as of 12/31/09, out of 774 ranked

Rankings are not indicative of future performance. No fees were paid to participate in the above rankings.

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6.) How does Northern Trust rank among private banks and wealth managers?

  • Number 1 in Category: The World’s Most Admired Companies List – Fortune Magazine (2010)
  • Best Private Bank in North America – Financial Times Group (2009-2010)
  • Ranked among Top 10 Wealth Managers – Barron’s (2009)
  • Best Private Bank in North America for Trust Services, Inheritance and Succession Planning, and Family Office Services – Euromoney (2010)

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7.) What is the Operations and Technology business unit?

Operations and Technology supports all of Northern Trust’s global business activities, including the processing and product management activities of asset servicing, asset management and wealth management. These activities are conducted principally in the operations and technology centers in Chicago, London and Bangalore and fund administration centers in Ireland.

8.) How long has Michael G. O'Grady (Northern Trust's CEO) been at Northern Trust?  What is his background?

Michael O'Grady was appointed Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2018. Prior to assuming his current role, he served as President of the Corporate & Institutional Services business unit at Northern Trust in 2015 and as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Northern Trust from 2011 to 2015. He joined Northern Trust in 2011 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he served as a Managing Director in the firm's Investment Banking Group. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1992. Prior to Merrill Lynch, Mike worked for Price Waterhouse.

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9.) How long has Frederick H. Waddell (Northern Trust's Chairman) been at Northern Trust?  What is his background?

Frederick (Rick) Waddell joined Northern Trust in 1975. In March 2003, he became head of the Corporate & Institutional Services business unit and, in February 2006, was named President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Waddell served as Chief Executive Officer from January 2008 to December 2017, and was named Chairman in November 2009. From 1994 until 2003, he led Northern Trust’s Wealth Management Group. From 1991 until 1994, he was Executive Vice President for Northern Trust Bank of California, with responsibility for the Los Angeles and Westwood offices. During the 1980s, he was responsible for Corporate Strategic Planning and Corporate Marketing, and held various positions of responsibility and management in the Corporation’s Commercial Banking division.

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