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UK’s Smiths taps Northern Trust for custody

UK – Industrial group Smiths Group has awarded a two billion-pound (2.83 billion-euro) global custody mandate to Northern Trust.

“Following a recent strategic review of its investment arrangements, Smiths Group plc has appointed Northern Trust as global custodian to pension assets totalling two billion pounds,” Northern Trust said in a statement.

Smiths runs the 739 million-pound Smiths Industries Pension Scheme and the 1.215 billion-pound TI Group Pension Scheme. Northern Trust says it is providing an identical range of custody services and products to both schemes.

The move consolidates Smith’s custody arrangements. “We wanted to have one global custodian,” said Mike Fletcher, pension investment executive at Smiths.

Previously, custody was provided by the Bank of New York and State Street for the TI scheme while investment managers - Merrill Lynch, UBS and Newton Investment Management – served the Smiths scheme.

The company was advised by Mercer Investment Consulting and has reviewed its custody arrangements in the past year.

“The selection by Smiths Group is a further endorsement of our work with institutional pension schemes in the UK and across the world,” said Jeremy Hester, head of UK business development at Northern Trust.

Steve Warren, Smiths’ director of retirement benefits said that “a strong relationship has been created with Northern Trust”.

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