Northern Trust has been awarded a $19.8 billion pension fund mandate by a leading retailer, replacing a longstanding partnership with State Street.
Marks & Spencer's Pension Trust appointed Northern Trust to provide asset servicing solutions, such as
custody, financial reporting and analytics, to the M&S Pension Scheme, a defined benefit pension scheme of which M&SPT is trustee.
The scheme has about £11 billion in assets, making it one of the top 25 largest corporate pension funds in the UK.
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Northern Trust will also provide fund administration and analytics for M&SPT's private market portfolio, as well as transparency over its environmental social and governance (ESG) risk exposures through its ESG Insights service. The scheme became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) in 2010.
M&SPT head and chief investment officer Simon Lee said: "We require an asset servicing provider able to support the requirements of our broad, complex portfolio of investments and adapt to the scheme's requirements as we progress through the de-risking journey. By appointing Northern Trust, we knew we were selecting a team and institution with the track record, technical expertise and long-term commitment to do that."
Northern Trust head of the UK's institutional investor group Mark Austin commented the firm is focused on helping UK pensions meet the challenges of the market - whether that's by enabling transparency over investments, or supporting efforts to de-risk.
"Ultimately, we share the same objectives - of helping achieve good retirement outcomes for members," Austin said.
The Institutional Investor Group services about 300 UK pension funds with collectively more than US$884 billion (as at 30 June 2020) in assets under custody.