Northern Trust, the custodian with E1.9trn in assets at the close of last year, showed its larger competitors up in 2000 by winning E225bn in new business worldwide, E70bn of which originated from Europe. Significant wins last year include appointments from Akzo Nobel, both in the UK and the Netherlands, and from Sweden’s AP3 fund. “It’s a steady growth pattern and also the benefit of being better known- you start to build a client base,” says Lucille Knapp, head of European business development for global custody at Northern Trust in London.
Knapp says they hope to emulate the last year’s success although the environment has changed- thanks to the slowdown there is greater emphasis on reviewing asset managers rather than changing custodians. “Counter to this though, is interest in independent custodial activity from people who historically might have custodied with their investment manager but now recognise they can get better information on risk management,” she says.
In terms of overall assets, KAS-Associatie is dwarfed by the likes of Citibank and JP Morgan Chase although the figures below suggest the Dutch custodian is doing something right. Given its has a total of E200bn under custody, KAS, a self-declared European specialist, proved one of the strongest performers with E15bn in new European mandates in 2000, a figure that head of sales Ben Kramer says is a record for the group.
Kramer says a greater emphasis on what he calls information management has helped them out. “Performance measurement, risk analysis, that’s where we made a big step last year and also our web-based technology, passing on real-time information to our clients. That’s one of the key features of choosing us.” KAS has been setting up services for UK institutional clients and last month gained its first UK client.
After Northern Trust, the Netherlands’ ABN Amro-Mellon took home the most European business with E59bn in new assets. In May this year, it scored another plum win when Europe’s largest pension fund the e150bn Heerlen-based ABP fund appointed it custodian for around e50bn in European assets.