Asia continues to lag other regions for integrating ESG principles with investing; better data and stronger regulatory requirements will help institutional investors, market observers say.
The newly created role will result in Behrens relocating from the Windy City to the Lion City, where it bases its regional effort. Behrens has already started his new job and will report directly to Timothy Theriault, Northern TrustÆs president, corporate and institutional services in Chicago.
In his new Singapore-based position, Behrens will assume responsibility for all of Northern TrustÆs businesses and operations in Asia. Aside from leading the Singapore business, he will also run the Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand operations. Additionally, he will also be in charge of Northern TrustÆs fully-owned operations department in the Indian city of Bangalore.
To date, Lawrence Au, managing director in Singapore, has run the firmÆs Asia-Pacific custody business (except for the operations team in Bangalore). Thomas Benzmiller in Hong Kong runs Northern Trust Global Investments for Asia ex-Japan while Kunihiko Nakao heads the asset management business in Japan. They remain in their roles, reporting to Behrens.
Prior returning to Chicago in May, where he was an executive director, Behrens was head of Northern TrustÆs Europe, Middle East and Africa asset servicing business. Before holding this role, he was head of the firmÆs personal financial services nation services division.
Over his 33-year career at Northern Trust, Behrens has also worked in the firmÆs commercial banking business and has also run numerous other businesses for the American niche bank.
Behrens arrives in Singapore after a booming year for Northern Trust. Recently, the bank won the huge custody mandates in Australia (Future Fund) and New Zealand (New Zealand Super) and plans to further expand its footprint in the region as a result of increased business. Its investment management business is centred on passive, enhanced and quantitative mandates.
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