Northern Trust debuts blockchain tech for private equity auditing

The launch comes one year after Northern Trust partnered with IBM in first commercial deployment of blockchain for the private equity market.

By Joe Parsons

Northern Trust has gone live with a blockchain solution allowing firms to carry out audits of private equity lifecycle events, as it continues to expand its technological capabilities for alternative fund managers.

The global custodian will allow audit firms to have their own blockchain node, providing access to relevant fund data to enable real-time processes.

Northern Trust has worked alongside PwC in Guersey to grant access to fund data held on the blockchain to auditors.

“By expanding our private equity blockchain ecosystem to the audit community, Northern Trust has enabled audit transactions to be recorded on a blockchain in real time,” said Pete Cherecwich, president of corporate and institutional services at Northern Trust.  

“This will result in direct efficiencies to both the audit firms and Northern Trust, and provide investors with a more timely and valued assurance product.”

The enhancement to its private equity capabilities comes one year after it announced a landmark partnership with IBM to use blockchain in private equity, the first commercial deployment of the technology for the private equity market.

The solution is also based off the open source Linux Foundation Hyperledger Fabric.

“Our ability to directly access distributed ledgers such as the one within the Northern Trust system will allow us to build upon our own blockchain investments. Such innovation assists clients as they invest in the opportunities arising from emerging technologies,” added Nick Vermeulen, partner at PwC Channel Islands.

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