Northern Trust has appointed Michael Wu as its deputy chief representative in Beijing, as part of ongoing efforts to expand and strengthen the global custodianÆs presence in mainland China.

In what is a new role, Wu will work with Kevin Tan, chief representative for Northern TrustÆs Beijing office, to help cultivate relationships with clients and regulators in China.

Wu joins Northern Trust from State Street where he spent 12 years in roles spanning operations, project management, and business development across Asia-Pacific. Most recently he was head of operations for North Asia. Andy Ki has replaced Wu as head of operations for State Street in Hong Kong.

"We see an increase in liquidity in the Chinese market driven primarily by the trade surplus and cash inflows,ö says Tan. ôAt some point the regulators are expected to allow more institutions to invest overseas as part of efforts to tackle inflation. The strategy for Northern Trust in China is to establish partnerships with domestic banks and custodians because Chinese institutions need a global custody partner to be able to support their overseas investments."

Most of Northern Trust's Chinese clients are currently served out of Singapore, pending regulatory approval for a branch licence which will enable it to provide services in Beijing.

The global custodian was awarded a mandate in 2006 to provide global custody, investment mandate compliance monitoring, and performance measurement services to ChinaÆs multi-billion dollar National Social Security Fund (NSSF); this was the first institutional retirement fund in China to invest overseas.

As of March 31, 2008, Northern Trust had assets under custody of $4 trillion, and assets under investment management of $778.6 billion.