Chicago-based wealth management firm Northern Trust has a legacy that’s over a century old. With more than 20 locations worldwide and 16,500 global employees, it serves the most world’s most sophisticated clients – sovereign wealth funds, corporate brands, successful hedge funds, and wealthy individuals and families. Today, Northern Trust manages trillions of dollars’ worth of assets.
Being responsible for so much money meant the firm had to offer exceptional service, readily adapting with the changing times. Lagging behind even slightly was not an option. That’s why Northern Trust needed a software partner with extensive knowledge of secure mobility, a partner which would help it apply security throughout the development and deployment process and work with it to devise a custom-tailored solution for clients and employees.
“Mobility will change all the things we do at Northern Trust,” explains Brian Robinson, vice president at Northern Trust. “We want our employees to not be stuck at their desk, and in order to do that you have to make them available…Having a partner in this process that has options and provides the ability to containerize apps and bring in security when you’re developing [is critical]. You need a really good partner for that.”
One of the biggest changes brought about by mobility was in client meetings. By bringing their devices into the client experience, employees are able to look up information on the fly, replicating a traditional experience without requiring an office or a desk. With direct and immediate access to client data, relationship managers can ensure they and the client are on the same page and provide them with better, more effective wealth management as a result.
In order to enable its employees in this manner, Northern Trust needed to set up remote access in a way that kept confidential information safe from prying eyes. They’re able to accomplish this by encrypting data both at-rest and in-transit, containerizing sensitive applications, and keeping critical files under the direct control of IT.
“The banking industry, I think, will be majorly impacted by mobility going forward,” says Robinson. “It’s a disruption. It makes the smaller players appear bigger, it makes institutions like Northern able to deliver. We’ve been doing this for 124 years, and continue to change throughout that time for both to our client needs and the world. We see mobility as one of those changes.”