Northern Trust has integrated its asset servicing unit into BlackRock’s portfolio management software Aladdin.
The connected interface will allow mutual clients to access Northern Trust’s operations, data, and servicing capabilities on the BlackRock platform, the firm said Thursday. That includes tools for fund accounting, fund administration, asset servicing, and middle office capabilities.
“We are offering a best of all worlds proposition,” Pete Cherecwich, corporate and institutional services president at Northern Trust, said in a statement. “We don’t need to own every underlying technology or capability.”
The Chicago-based firm is the latest to join itself to BlackRock’s Aladdin software, widely considered the best portfolio management tool in the industry. Last month, BNP Paribas also joined its tools to the BlackRock infrastructure. So did BNY Mellon last year.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has made other big-name partnerships recently, including housing Aladdin on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.
For Northern Trust, the BlackRock partnership builds on a series of collaborations and acquisitions in recent years to build out an open architecture platform across the entire investment lifecycle. In 2018, the firm invested in Parilux for its service platform for global asset allocators.
Among other tools on the connected platform are outsourced trade execution, currency management, and FX algorithmic trading, as well as risk analytics.
“Ultimately, we decided that optionality is far more important to clients, so we made a strategic decision to focus on partnerships and not own everything,” said Melanie Pickett, head of front office solutions at Northern Trust.
Northern Trust has about $1.1 trillion in assets under management. BlackRock manages about $7.43 trillion.