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She will manage a team of relationship and account managers in Singapore and seek to build on Northern TrustÆs deepening involvement in the Asia-Pacific global custody space, which will likely result in more hires in the near-term. She takes over the role from Wing Chark, who Northern Trust relocated to Chicago to take on a product management role. Au has been managing client servicing in the interim.
Soh joins Northern Trust from OCBC Bank in Singapore, where she had served as head of non-bank financial institutions, covering insurance, brokerage and asset management companies.
Prior to that, Soh spent 19 years at Citibank in Singapore, culminating as country manager. There she held numerous roles in global custody, product management, corporate banking and e-banking services. She played an important role establishing CitibankÆs local custody presence.
SohÆs arrival at Northern Trust follows a period of regional expansion for the global custodian in Asia Pacific. According to Au, the firmÆs custody assets have expanded by 400% over the past five years, and he predicts it will likely experience another banner year in 2007, particularly on the back of recent developments in China.
The bank was recently appointed by ChinaÆs National Council for Social Security Fund (SSF) as global custodian (as was Citigroup). DecemberÆs mandates for the SSFÆs first international fund managers means this business is now going live. The bank has also won a recent global custody mandate from Bank of Communications to handle overseas accounting, performance measurement and investment-mandate compliance monitoring services to qualified domestic institutional investors (QDII) in China.
ôIn 2007, we already see some strong initiatives for our business in China and expect to see the business momentum growing,ö says Au. ôThe SSF will likely invest more funds offshore and we also expect to see a lot more QDII on the horizon.ö
Outside of China, Northern Trust is also witnessing a growth of business in Australia and New Zealand and expects to be looking more closely at Taiwan and South Korea over the year, although it has no plans yet to establish a physical presence in these markets.
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