Northern Trust execs plan expansion, acquisitions

Posted May 26, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.

Reuters | Financial services company Northern Trust Corp is actively planning to expand and is considering acquisitions, executives said Wednesday.

The executives, speaking at the company’s investor day in New York, said Northern Trust will expand on both U.S. coasts and will look at acquisitions to expand its geographic reach and capabilities.

“We have tons of capital,” said Chief Executive Officer Frederick Waddell. He said the shake-up in the market has produced attractive assets for sale.

In March, Waddell told the Citigroup Financial Services Conference that
the Chicago-based bank was considering buying a fund administrator or
asset manager.

Waddell said that Northern Trust’s board of directors in April reviewed
all of the company’s transactions over the past 20 years.

“In some cases we have particular companies or firms that would be a
natural for us if there was an opportune time to do something,” he said.
He did not mention any companies by name.

“(We) don’t have a strong feeling that we absolutely must (do this) in
order to be effective and compete on a global basis,” he said. But
“we’ve gone through and we have capabilities and geographies that are of
interest to us,” he added.

Personal Financial Services President Sherry Barrat, whose division
caters to ultra-wealthy families, said the bank would open an office in
Washington, D.C., in the next year but the company had not yet decided
whether it would be a new office or an acquisition.

Chief Financial Officer Bill Morrison said Northern Trust was looking at
a series of non-culture-changing acquisitions over time.

As of March 31, Northern Trust had $3.7 trillion in assets under custody
and $647 billion in assets under management. It offers services to
individuals and families as well as to institutions.

Northern Trust shares rose 0.37 percent to $50.97 at mid-afternoon on


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