From the very beginning, Northern Trust has been more than simply a financial institution; we have been an active member of the community, a leader in business and philanthropy, and a trailblazer in employee benefits and support. Guiding all of these efforts, past and present, are the bank’s enduring principles—Service, Expertise and Integrity.
In Northern Trust’s early years, the focus was naturally—but not exclusively—on our hometown of Chicago. In 1909, the board of directors set up a charitable fund of $5,000 to be drawn on at the president’s discretion—a forerunner of the Northern Trust Charitable Trust, established in 1966.
Northern Trust also made early strides in employee benefits, offering free group life insurance to our employees in 1912 and creating a pension plan the following year. Both benefits were among the first of their kind in the U.S. Decades later, in 1990, we marked another first by opening a corporate on-site day care center in downtown Chicago. Scholarships are available to help parents defray costs.
Through the years, Northern Trust has evolved into an inclusive organization that not only welcomes, but thrives on, different viewpoints and backgrounds.
Since the 1980s, Northern Trust has supported a variety of leadership groups called Business Resource Councils including groups focused on Asian, Black, Latino, and LGBT professionals.
In 1998, 15 years before the federal government recognized same-sex marriage, Northern Trust became the second bank in the U.S. to offer employees domestic partner benefits for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples—another testament to our penchant for trailblazing and inclusivity. The bank formalized a national LGBT and Non-Traditional Family Practice in 2010 to meet their financial needs.
In 2009, Northern Trust brought together all of our philanthropic, environmental, and business ethics efforts by creating a global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) structure.
Today, Northern Trust strives to be an upstanding global corporate citizen by minimizing our environmental impact, honoring cultural perspectives, and sponsoring community programs. Recent activities include funding social welfare initiatives in India, community investment in key geographic areas throughout the United States and supporting education for at-risk children in the United Kingdom.
Northern Trust’s substantial CSR efforts have been recognized by publications, associations and other organizations with honors such as: