5-minute interview: Daniel F. Lindley, London-based Managing Director, Global Family & Private Investment Offices Group ” EMEA and APAC, Northern Tr

Date: 04 Oct 2013


What is your AUM?
Northern Trust: AUC – $4.8 trillion; AUM – $759 billion
The Global Family & Private Investment Offices: AUC – $270 billion; AUM – $42 billion
As at 31/12/2012

What has been the impact of FATCA on UHNW clients?
Every financial institution across the globe will need to understand its FATCA obligations. Although a US law and regulation, foreign financial institutions will bear the largest impact of FATCA. With many families whose generations are split across the globe, we expect family offices and fund management providers will see an increase in compliance risk with FATCA and will seek assurance that their provider is fully FATCA-compliant.
Northern Trust understands the rules, regulations and market practices in the US and is well positioned to help all our clients meet their FATCA obligations – we already identify US individuals who invest directly in funds and will continue to support our fund clients with investor due diligence and reporting.

What trends have you seen in the market in the last 12 months?
Two themes come to mind when thinking about the last 12 months ‚Äì risk management and transparency. One only has to utter the words “Eurozone‚Äù and “market turbulence‚Äù to understand why investors and financial institutions alike are increasingly looking for ways to heighten their risk-management procedures and improve transparency.
Linked to these objectives are the technologies our clients need to achieve these objectives. Ensuring data integrity is critical. Who holds it? Where does it come from? What are the risks? Is it accurate and independently verified? How is it delivered? These questions have never been more front-of-mind for investors than during the past year, and as a custodian and wealth manager, Northern Trust is in the unique position of already holding much of the data family offices require. For a family office, unbundling the investment of wealth and the administration of wealth enables our clients to receive this data in a way that supports the drive for greater transparency and control over the assets.

How do you see your business evolving in the next 12 months?
At Northern Trust, we work with our clients to help them meet their needs. Given the continuing market turbulence, and increased regulatory requirements placed on fund managers and family offices, we expect that our clients will continue to look to us to help them meet these challenges through innovative solutions, products and services.

Explain your key offerings for UHNW clients.
The Global Family and Private Investment Offices group is a boutique practice within one of the world’s most highly rated and stable financial institutions serving ultra high net worth families. Serving nearly 400 family offices, including more than 20% of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans, we are well positioned to observe and share significant trends ‚Äì in investments, governance, risk management and succession planning ‚Äì within the family office sector.
We have more than a century’s experience providing unrivaled personalised service, proactive advice and customised solutions based upon our clients’ unique needs, all of which is based on the same technology platform that meets the global asset servicing needs of some of the world’s largest institutions.
Beyond global custody and asset servicing, our global capabilities include performance reporting, investment risk analysis, foreign exchange, private and business banking, investment management and investment advisory services, onshore and offshore trust services, foundations compliance and investment management, financial planning and advisory services – family education and governance, single stock management, family business services, real estate & agricultural services, and oil, gas & minerals management.

From where does your current revenue stream of UHNW clients derive?
Our clients originate from all over the world and are dispersed throughout the world at any one time. An operating office in London, an investment office in New York and a grant-making office in Monaco is not an uncommon set-up for our families.
As a global organisation, Northern Trust is well-placed to support the global nature of our families. Increasingly, as technology brings families virtually closer together, so, too, do our products and mobile technology solutions. Our long heritage and experience in servicing the needs of UHNW clients through any economic cycle equally offer our family clients confidence and peace of mind.
All our clients, regardless of location, are united in a common goal – ensuring they have chosen a provider who can support them wherever they are, offer them innovative technology solutions and work closely with them to understand their unique requirements.

What further legal and regulatory environment changes do you see happening?
In the absence of a crystal ball, I suggest that financial regulation will continue to evolve, if not intensify, as governments seek to prevent the next global financial crisis. As the markets remain turbulent, we expect to see a continued demand for transparency and appropriate risk-management processes, with regulatory and legal changes to support these trends.

Are clients getting more challenging in their approach, if so, explain how this manifests?
As clients demand more access to data, driven by their increasing requirements for transparency and risk management, we continue to look for ways to innovate the delivery of this data. Slicing and dicing data in different ways and supporting through mobile technologies the needs of clients on the go remain key priorities for us.

What is your UHNW strategy?
We have a saying that if you’ve worked with one client of significant wealth, you’ve worked with one client of significant wealth! Every client is different at Northern Trust, and offering each client a distinct and fully customised service is a core part of our strategy. By combining institutional quality expertise and capabilities with world-class client service, we deliver objective, transparent, proactive and value-added advice and services.

What does Northern Trust do for its own people?
One element that attracted me to working at Northern Trust was its attitude toward ensuring its staff enjoyed a work-life balance. Not only are there training and developmental programmes to support employees as they strive to fulfil their career ambitions and goals, but there are also a myriad of support resources to help them balance these priorities within their personal lives.
Northern Trust is committed to building a culture of caring and teamwork, which engages our employees and enables them to support the communities in which we live and work. We give each of our employees a day out to help with volunteering projects in their local communities – and get to know people from other teams.  

What does Northern Trust do for the planet?
Deeply rooted in Northern Trust’s community commitment is volunteerism. We give each employee one day out to participate in its signature volunteering programme ‚Äì Northern Trust Community Partners. Staff can read to children at local schools, help clean up a river, plant a garden or paint a classroom. More than 180,000 hours of our employees’ time last year were devoted to volunteering projects.
In line with supporting the environment, respecting ethical values and contributing to our local communities, we also donate a portion of our pre-tax profits to charity. Last year we donated US$14 million to charities and civic organisations.

What developments or initiatives have you put in place to make Northern Trust a profitable business?
It was Darwin who said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.‚Äù
For 124 years, our principles of service, expertise and integrity have remained at the centre of everything we do. It is these guiding principles which have underpinned our business, enabling us to navigate and weather many economic cycles. By combining our strength (Northern Trust is one of the most stable financial institutions in the world and one of only five US banks to carry the S&P A+ rating) with our people and their expertise, we can continue to provide unrivalled service to our clients. Understanding what they need and adapting our products and services for them has – and always will be – central to our strategy.

Who would be your dream lunch guest?
Mick Jagger ‚Äì I’m inspired by Mick’s indomitable longevity as a performer and his shrewd management of his career over five decades. I’ve been a fan ever since 12 X 5.
Where would you take a prospective uhnw for lunch?
The Wolseley – the right combination of old-world charm and modern verve.

Your formula for success?
As Woody Allen famously observed, 80% of success is simply showing up.

Tell us three things you wish you had known when starting out.
There’s much to be said for staying with one firm over the long haul.
There’s precious little that a sense of humour can’t improve.
A third of all people will respond favourably to you, a third are indifferent and a third are downright hostile. The task is to figure out who falls into which bucket.

Three qualities or skills you must have to be successful?
Responsiveness to client needs and expectations, persistence and the occasional stroke of luck.

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