Northern Trust announced today it has expanded its array of reporting tools to support institutional investors in meeting new and complex requirements for corporate governance, financial disclosure, and regulatory filings in markets worldwide.
New reports launched in 2008 will help clients comply with higher standards for transparency in class action processing, taxation, investment risks and accounting practices.
"As Northern Trust enters new markets around the globe, we continue to develop products to meet the local and regulatory needs of our worldwide client base," said Peter Cherecwich, Northern Trust's global head of asset servicing product development. "Corporations, public pension funds and not- for-profit institutions face increasingly complex challenges in managing governance, regulatory, accounting, investing, finance and fiduciary responsibilities. As global custodian, Northern Trust seeks to ease our clients' burden of achieving transparency while complying with all accounting, valuation and financial reporting standards."
Governance, regulatory and financial reporting requirements addressed by Northern Trust include:
- Class Actions - Clients in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) regions as well as North America have a heightened interest in securities litigation, driving increased demand for comprehensive, consolidated and integrated data on class action processing. Northern Trust has introduced eight reporting templates that organize data by class action event and represent the status of the entire class action court settlement to improve the efficiency of clients' governance reviews.
- GASB 40 and 50 - U.S. public entities, including state and local governments, public employee retirement systems, hospitals and universities, must file annual reports under Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) guidelines disclosing credit, interest rate and foreign currency risk as well as duration in their investment portfolios. Northern Trust has provided GASB 40 reporting for Public Fund clients since 2004, and has created a suite of reports to help clients gather information for the GASB 50 reporting that is required as of June 30, 2008. The new reports provide detail on fair-value reporting of investments that are not based on quoted market prices, as well as the funded status of defined benefit pension plans.
- IFRS 7 - Beginning in June 2008, listed companies in Europe and their subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region and other locations will begin filing this annual accounting statement to comply with the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) adopted by the European Union in 2005. While the adoption of IFRS was a significant step toward accounting harmonization with a single set of standards, it created new challenges for companies required to comply.
- Dutch Regulatory Reporting - Pension funds in The Netherlands are required to produce quarterly and annual regulatory reports. Northern Trust has enhanced quarterly reporting to include "shock testing" on derivatives to gauge the potential impact of extreme market events. Shock-tested data is also produced on all holdings for the annual reports.
"Our dedicated, global team constantly reviews financial and regulatory changes in markets worldwide, and creates more than 400 new reports and enhancements each year, ranging from multinational issues to local requirements such as Australian General Sales Tax accounting and general shareholder reporting for New Zealand and Switzerland authorities," said Debra Clayton, product manager for institutional client reporting at Northern Trust. "Our clients have provided tremendous feedback on the comprehensive processing that we perform, and the value that our reporting provides to their organizations, including to their auditors and trustees." Clients' reports are available to them through the multi-faceted Web portal, Northern Trust Passport.