IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Northern Trust Corporation

IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Northern Trust Corporation

May 10, 2017

The Illinois Venture Capital Association keeps growing, adding new and diverse members to their expanding network. The opportunities for the membership to interact, to learn from each other and to create a singular voice for issues that concern the venture capital, private equity and support industries increase with each new addition. The latest new member is the Northern Trust Corporation, a founded-in-Chicago banking legend that has a reputation as a global leader that delivers innovative investment management and asset & fund management, in addition to fiduciary & banking solutions.
 
The following is a Q&A profile with Northern Trust Corporation, which explores the bank’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.
 
New Member: Northern Trust Corporation
Representatives: Elizabeth Hart, Senior Vice President of Wealth Management and Katherine Berry Templin, Senior Vice President of Sponsor Finance
 
IVCA: What is the background and history of Northern Trust Corporation?
 
Northern Trust: For over a century, Northern Trust has built a legacy of outstanding service, expertise, integrity and innovation. From a Chicago-based bank founded in 1889, we now have more than 20 international locations and over 17,000 employees globally. Northern Trust is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking. We serve the world’s most sophisticated clients – from sovereign wealth funds and the wealthiest individuals and families, to the most-successful private equity, hedge funds and corporate brands.
 
IVCA: Northern Trust was founded in Chicago, and maintained a sense of the city in their expansion. What do you think is still most ‘Chicago’ about Northern Trust?
 
Northern Trust: Northern Trust is proud to support the communities in which we live and work – none more so than our hometown of Chicago. Northern Trust has been in business and headquartered in Chicago since 1889. Our founders helped to open many of Chicago’s cherished cultural institutions, including the Art Institute, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Museum of Science and Industry. 
 
Our employees are incredibly active in the community, reporting more than 125,000 volunteer hours in 2016.  The ‘Northern Trust story’ is not only about providing innovative solutions to our clients, but also being a reliable source of funds for the charities and civic organizations we support. As part of Northern Trust’s broad philanthropic vision, the Northern Trust Charitable Trust was established in September 1966 to support not-for-profit organizations in Cook County, Illinois. The Trust’s primary focus is to reach out to people in the Chicago area who are in need or face obstacles that impede their full participation in society. At Northern Trust, we are fortunate to continue a long-standing tradition of sharing our success by reaching out to our neighbors and enriching the communities we share.
 
IVCA: Wealth and asset management are two pillars of Northern Trust service. What are the challenges of that management in the complex financial age we currently live in?
 
Northern Trust: Several challenges face the wealth and asset management industries, including the heightened regulatory environment, competition for talent, and the disruption from new technology players. To address these challenges, Northern Trust continues to focus on building a diverse workforce throughout the corporation as well implementing a location strategy to maximize talent acquisition. We are focused on the development and application of innovative technology solutions to enhance client service.
 
As an example, in collaboration with IBM, Northern Trust recently launched a platform for private equity firms that uses blockchain technology to arrange the transparent transfer of assets, while tracking that information in a shared, highly tamper-resistant ledger.
 
IVCA: Banking has changed considerably in the last generation of technology. Since Northern Trust was at the forefront of data management in banking in the 1950s, what do you see as the future of that management in the relationship between the banking institution and the individual?
 
Northern Trust: We believe the most important aspect of outstanding client service is the combination of human advice and innovative technology. The intricate and ever-changing complexities of our business create a continuing need for personalized advice and analysis, but it is imperative to combine that expertise with the most advanced technology to produce optimal delivery speeds. 
 
Clients today demand a different experience than in the past – primarily an ‘advice on demand’ model enabled through mobile and digital channels. In order to better support their expectations, we use an agile design process to build new technology-enabled experiences that align with how our clients want to interact with us. For example, clients are now able to collaborate with our advisor teams digitally and complete simple servicing items themselves, at any time of day.
 
IVCA: What has been the relationship between Northern Trust and the Venture Capital/Private Equity communities, and how does that relationship continue to benefit NT, VC and PE?
 
Northern Trust: With over 25 years of experience in the private equity class, Northern Trust has a history of assisting clients in the creation and management of their wealth. As a leading global private equity fund administrator, we have nearly $100 billion in PE fund assets under administration. We provide specialized expertise coupled with industry leading systems and control, while maintaining the flexibility our clients require to manage complex fund structures.  This enables our clients to focus their managerial resources on core investment management functions in the face of increased competitive, regulatory, and investor demands. These administrative functions are complemented by a wide range of banking, credit, foreign exchange, and private client services.
 
Northern Trust also provides specialized lending solutions to private equity firms, including subscription lines, co-investment credit facilities to general partners and principals, and enhanced cash and treasury management services. For our high net worth clients, Northern Trust has a dedicated team providing strategic solutions to minimize taxes, maximize yields on cash, provide liquidity to bridge cash needs, and optimally configure the complex estates of wealth creators in the VC and PE space.
 
IVCA: What does Northern Trust Corporation hope to achieve in their interaction with the IVCA?
 
Northern Trust: Through our involvement with the IVCA, we hope to join the ongoing discussion amongst members, where we anticipate learning from experienced professionals in the private equity community as well as educating our colleagues on the services we can provide.  The IVCA serves as a unique platform for an open dialogue between firms and service professionals dedicated to the development of the private equity and venture capital community in Illinois.
 
For more information on the Northern Trust Corporation, go to www.NTrs.com