The Marks & Spencer Pension Trust has hired Northern Trust to offer a range of asset servicing solutions to its £11bn (€12bn) defined benefit (DB) scheme, the M&S Pension Scheme.

The scheme, which is one of the UK’s 25 largest corporate pension schemes, according to the Pension Funds and their Advisers 2019/20 edition, will receive services such as global custody, financial reporting and analytical services.

These will support the scheme’s oversight and administration of its investment strategy, across its range of traditional, insurance and alternative investments, Northern Trust stated.

These solutions, Northern Trust said, include specialist fund administration and analytics for the fund’s private market portfolio, as well as delivering heightened transparency over its environmental social and governance (ESG) risk exposures through the Norther Trust’s ESG Insights service.

Simon Lee, head of the pension trust and chief investment officer, 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.”

Mark Austin, head of UK, Institutional Investor Group at Northern Trust, said: “Northern Trust is focused on helping UK pensions meet the challenges of the market – whether, for example, 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.”                                                                            

Northern Trust’s Institutional Investor Group provides services to almost 300 UK pension funds with collectively more than $884bn (€743.4bn) as at 30 June 2020) in assets under custody, the firm said.

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