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Wealth Management
Asset Management
Asset Servicing
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About Northern Trust
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Financial Intermediary
Learn about asset management solutions designed for Retirement Plan Advisors, TAMPs/Outsourcing Providers, Subadvisory Program Sponsors, RIAs/Financial Advisors and Trust Institutions.
Institutional
Learn about asset management solutions including: global index management, active equity and fixed income, target retirement date funds, and manager of manager programs.
Individual
Get answers to your investment challenges with asset management capabilities including alternatives, exchange traded funds, fixed income, mutual funds and tax-advantaged equity.
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History and Culture

 
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Trusted, Innovative

In August 1889, Byron Laflin Smith — one of the most respected bankers in Chicago, Illinois — created The Northern Trust Company to serve the city’s affluent individuals and organizations. By 1906, Northern Trust had grown from a single room into a flourishing organization, and moved into a permanent home at 50 South La Salle Street.

In 1891, Northern Trust realized that the prospective proceeds of life insurance claims could be manageable assets. This led us to create the very first life insurance trust.

Northern Trust introduced an employee life insurance plan in 1912, and a pension plan in 1913 – among the first of their kind in the country. That commitment to employees continues today.

In the 1950s, Northern Trust quickly adapted to new advances in technology, automating banking processes and introducing new products and services. And in 1962, we became one of the first financial institutions in the nation to process checks electronically.

In 1974, the U.S. Congress passed the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act. Our advanced personal trust accounting and reporting systems helped us become a leading provider of independent master trustee and custodian services to corporate employee benefit funds.

Meeting Our Clients’ Specialized Needs

In the 1960s, our clients began to develop business interests outside the United States.  Therefore, in 1969, Northern Trust opened a London office, making us the first Illinois-chartered financial institution to open a branch outside the United States.

By 1982, many wealthy families and individuals were using family offices. We formed the Wealth Management Group to provide them sophisticated global custody, asset management, fiduciary and risk management solutions.

In 1998, we formed Northern Trust Global Investments, serving both personal and institutional clients, to provide focused investment management capabilities.

An Expanding Global Vision

As global markets have grown more fast-paced and complex, we have continued to establish new offices and develop new products and services to meet our clients’ needs.

Today, we are the largest administrator of offshore private equity funds in Europe, and one of the world’s leading providers of institutional index management services.

As a trusted provider to investors in all time zones and major markets, we continue to pursue “follow-the-sun,” 365/24/7 global trade communication.

Breakthrough Solutions
1974
24-Hour Foreign Exchange
1981
Securities Lending
1984
Discount Brokerage
1990
Full-Service Brokerage
1992
Institutional Mutual Funds
1993
Global Investments Daily Valuation
1994
Personal Mutual Funds
1995
Manager of Managers
1997
Quantitative Investing
1998
Integrated Risk Management,
Multinational Headquarters Reporting
2000
Value Investing
2001
Cross-Border Pooling,
Hedge & Private Equity Funds
2007
Global Real Estate Fund,
Liability Driven Investments,
Exchange-Traded Funds
2010
Common Contractual Funds
2011
Implementation & Oversight
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