Northern Trust has appointed Teresa Parker as CEO of Asia-Pacific to replace retiring Gregg Behrens.

As chief executive, Parker will be responsible for all of Northern Trust's business in the region providing asset servicing and asset management to institutional investors. She is charged with focusing on clients' needs, deepening the firm's share of target client segments and consolidating its position in existing markets. Parker will be based in Singapore and the appointment is effective October 30.

"Northern Trust's presence in Asia-Pacific continues to grow as we commit new resources and expertise to serve our expanding client base in the region," says Frederick Waddell, president and chief executive of Northern Trust. "Teresa has a proven track record of leading partners across different regions to meet the needs of large, sophisticated global clients. Her background is well-suited to our Asia-Pacific clients and to Northern Trust's plans for growth in this region."

The firm has more than doubled in size in Asia-Pacific over the last two years. Headcount in Northern Trust's Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore offices today totals 1,700 versus 850 in 2007. During the firm's second-quarter earnings call, Steven Fradkin, Northern Trust's chief financial officer, said staff additions have been concentrated in Asia-Pacific.

Additionally, responding to analyst questions on whether asset accumulation growth was Asia focused, Fradkin said the firm had notable custody "successes" in Australia and New Zealand, though the "phenomenon" was global. In the second quarter, global custody assets rose 21% quarter-on-quarter to $1.6 trillion.

According to a representative of Northern Trust, the firm's growth strategy continues to be "measured" and "long-term". The firm would not divulge any additional details.

Parker has not previously worked in Asia. According to the firm's representative, she is "well-suited" for the region because of her experience working with the firm's "most sophisticated" clients globally in her roles in operations and across the organisation.

"It's fair to say that Teresa's breadth of experience, understanding and focus on clients position her well to lead continued delivery of Northern Trust's global expertise and unrivalled service to clients in the region," said the representative.

Parker was previously executive vice-president and head of client servicing for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Northern Trust. Her past roles include chief operating officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa. She has been with the firm since 1982.

Outgoing Behrens will retire on November 30 after 35 years with the firm. Over the next three months he will work with Parker to ensure a smooth transition. He was appointed Northern Trust's Asia-Pacific chief executive in 2007.

The firm will not immediately name a replacement for Parker's former position. According to Northern Trust's representative it has "revised the reporting structure" within the client servicing group so that the firm can better meet the needs of clients in the EMEA region.

At the end of June, Chicago-based Northern Trust had assets under custody worth $3.2 trillion and assets under management worth $558.9 billion.