Private Banking: Northern Trust keeps its eye on the ball
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Private Banking: Northern Trust keeps its eye on the ball

Search the results Northern Trust focuses entirely on looking after client assets and will not be distracted by ventures into other banking sectors

Northern Trust was outside the top 10 of private banks in the US when Euromoney undertook its first private banking survey two years ago; now it ranks fourth behind JPMorgan, Citigroup and UBS. Its performance is all the more impressive compared with such bulge-bracket competitors because, 116 years after its foundation, Northern Trust still focuses on just two main business lines: personal financial services and corporate and institutional services. In both personal and corporate business, it concentrates on the management and administration of client assets. It is not in retail banking, nor does it have an investment banking business.

From to small to big

Northern Trust entered the personal and corporate trust business in 1889, when the bank sprang to life in one room in a building in Chicago, where it employed six people – founder and president Byron Laflin Smith, a cashier who also worked as a secretary, two book-keepers, a general man and a teller.

Today the bank, which still has its headquarters in Chicago, is the largest private bank trust company in the US.

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