Marks & Spencer Pension Trust selects Northern Trust for asset servicing solutions

Northern Trust has been selected by Marks & Spencer Pension Trust (M&SPT) in the United Kingdom (UK) to provide a range of asset servicing solutions to the M&S Pension Scheme, a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme of which M&SPT is trustee.

With GBP11 billion of assets (as at 31 March 2020), the M&S Pension Scheme is one of the country’s 25 largest corporate pension schemes (source: Pension Funds and their Advisers 2019/20 edition).

Northern Trust will provide global custody, financial reporting and analytical services to support M&SPT’s oversight and administration of its investment strategy, across its range of traditional, insurance and alternative investments.

These solutions include specialist fund administration and analytics for M&SPT’s private market portfolio, as well as delivering heightened transparency over its environmental social and governance (ESG) risk exposures through Northern Trust’s ESG Insights service.

Simon Lee, head of M&SPT and chief investment officer, says: “We require an asset servicing provider able to support the requirements of our broad, complex portfolio of investments and adapt to the scheme’s requirements as we progress through the de-risking journey. By appointing Northern Trust, we knew we were selecting a team and institution with the track record, technical expertise and long-term commitment to do that.”

Mark Austin, head of UK, Institutional Investor Group at Northern Trust, says: “As a committed partner to the retirement industry, we are delighted to support M&SPT in the stewardship of its assets. Northern Trust is focused on helping UK pensions meet the challenges of the market – whether, for example, by enabling transparency over investments, or supporting efforts to de-risk. Ultimately, we share the same objectives – of helping achieve good retirement outcomes for members.”

Northern Trust’s Institutional Investor Group provides services to almost 300 UK pension funds with collectively more than USD884 billion (as at 30 June 2020) in assets under custody. Clients serviced include Defined Contribution master trusts, DB corporate schemes and funds of the UK Local Government Pension Scheme, with assets varying in size from USD20 million to USD60 billion.