$6 billion Canadian pension fund completes transition to Northern Trust

The mandate prvoding global custody, performance, risk analytics and compliance monitoring services to Canada's Knowledge First Financial.

By Joe Parsons

Northern Trust has completed the transition of Knowledge First Financial, Canada’s largest RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) and its $6 billion of assets onto its asset servicing platform.

The mandate includes global custody, performance, risk analytics and compliance monitoring services.

“We selected Northern Trust for its commitment to client service as well as technology innovation, and the transition led by Northern Trust exceeded the high expectations established at the outset,” said Steve Rotz, chief financial officer, Knowledge First Financial.

“Significant prior experience and clearly articulated responsibilities allowed Northern Trust and Knowledge First Financial to ensure engagement across both organisations to work closely as partners throughout the transition. It was worth the effort.”

The pension fund was able to transition assets from RBC Investor and Treasury Services (RBC I&TS), its former trustee and custodian, to Northern Trust through the bank’s Onboarding Dashboard.

“The completion of the onboarding process is just the first phase of what we hope to be a very long and mutually beneficial relationship,” added Arti Sharma, CEO and president, Northern Trust Canada.

According to Northern Trust’s latest data on Canadian pension funds, investment returns declined in the final quarter of 2018, with many defined benefit plans closing out the year in negative territory largely to the slump in global equity markets and heightened volatility.

Last year, Northern Trust became the first global custodian to implement a direct clearing service to the Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation (CDCC). The bank cleared the first lot of cash and repo trades on behalf of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).