Northern Trust appoints new head of institutional investor group for EMEA

Appointment expands role of strategic asset servicing support to institutional investors across region for industry veteran.

By Jonathan Watkins

Northern Trust has named James Wright as head of its Institutional Investor Group (IIG) for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), expanding his remit across the region where the custodian holds over $2.3 trillion in assets under custody.

Wright had previously been responsible for the IIG business for the UK, Middle East and Africa markets.

He boasts more than 30 years’ experience in the asset servicing industry, the bulk of those coming at JP Morgan, prior to joining Northern Trust in 2016.

His career has included management roles in Australia and Asia, and is currently a member of Northern Trust’s EMEA Executive Management Committee.

In the role, Wright will be responsible for driving the strategic direction and growth of the group across the region, where the custodian said it is focusing on the evolving front, middle and backoffice needs of its 330 clients.

There has been no shortage of activity from Northern Trust in the EMEA region during the first quarter of 2021, with a number of new mandates and partnerships announced.

In February, the custodian has partnered with the Asset Management Exchange (AMX) and German asset manager DWS to enable pension funds to express stewardship voting preferences in pooled funds. Meanwhile Northern Trust opened a new branch in Norway, while also renewing an asset servicing mandate with Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP), the country’s largest life insurance firm.   

The Chicago-headquartered group has also partnered with Standard Bank to offer a joint transition management service across Southern Africaand enhanced its investment performance reporting services for Middle Eastern clients to deliver Sunday to Friday investment returns.   


Earlier this week, Northern Trust’s long-serving chief strategy officer and GC Lifetime Achievement award recipient, Penny Biggs, announced her retirement.