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The Northern Trust Co. Focuses on Replacing Legacy Systems and Its Next-Generation of Passport

In the months ahead, EVP and CTO Nirup N. Krishnamurthy will expand The Northern Trust Co.'s global reach with updated financial systems and investment capabilities, a single client repository and the next-generation of its client access portal.

The Northern Trust Co.
Nirup N. Krishnamurthy
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

The Northern Trust Co.
50 S. LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60675


$653 billion in assets under management as of March 2006.


UAL Corp. (United Airlines): vice president and chief information officer (2003-2005); vice president, information services division; managing director of applications development, finance division.


Ph.D. and M.S. in industrial engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


In the early days at United, as part of the financial research group we came up with an algorithm to do flight planning. But just because it's an algorithm doesn't mean it's going to be accepted. That was a very humbling experience. It doesn't matter how good your systems -- or your brains -- are; it is how you are able to convince others to use what you've developed.


"The Da Vinci Code," by Dan Brown.

Top 3 Current Projects

Enterprise Relationship Mgmt.


Standardize enterprise processes so we can establish a single repository for clients. As we grow, we need to provide a consistent client experience.

Desktops for Personal Financial Services (PFS) Investment Solutions


Develop a state-of-the-art desktop for portfolio managers that is designed to facilitate educated decision making and real-time notification of events. Part of this project is to provide that open architecture, down to the investor, on our personal side.

Investment Outsourcing


We are providing investment operations outsourcing. We're creating an asset-servicing platform for the middle-office processing of investment managers.

2007 Initiatives

Replace Back Office

Our back-office financial systems are going to be replaced over the next several years. As we expand our reach globally, we need to have a 24/7 model that operates across multiple countries.

Next Generation of Passport

Northern's trademark is called Passport technology, a portal through which our clients can access information. We are working on the next-generation strategy. From a functional standpoint, we're thinking of providing investment analysis capabilities on the portal, so clients can do their own "what-ifs" before they talk to their investment manager.

Upgrade Investment Capabilities

We're looking at investment capabilities, whether it's our ability to handle OTC derivatives or drive new products on the investment side. As clients diversify, we will offer the products that they would like to see.


IT Budget:

$340 million, including capital.

Key Technology Management:

  • Cynthia Clarke, Investment Systems,
  • Andrea Ford, IT Governance ,
  • Ravi Gundimeda, Chief Enterprise Architecture,
  • Shamla Naidoo, Technology Risk Management,
  • Kay Northfell, Asset Services & Valuation,
  • Barbara O'Malley, Client Delivery,
  • Randy Overbey, Technology Operations,
  • Kay Vicino, Shared Services

Size of Technology Team:

1,566 people, including 511 consultants.

Percent of IT Projects Outsourced:


Key Technology Partners:

IBM, HP, Cisco, Sun, Oracle/PeopleSoft, BEA, AT&T, SunGard, Eagle, Charles River, Reuters, Oblix, Interwoven, Lawson, TUSC.

Success Metrics:

I will be putting in place IT governance. We will classify initiatives as improving client satisfaction/retention, improving the top line, and improving operating leverage. We are working on figuring out how to go back and validate the benefits that we said we were going to get.

Vision: The Next Big Thing

In the custody and trust business, the opportunity is primarily global. Europe and Asia have trillions of dollars under custody. That's an untapped market for all of us. That's the area that's going to see the most- significant growth.

On the personal side, we are bullish about the significant growth in the number of affluent people in the U.S., in addition to Europe and Asia. As we grow, we have to figure out how to cater to our new clients' needs. That means we have to look at alternative investments, for example. Also, do we get into the outsourcing space more aggressively?

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