There was nothing wrong with Northern Trust's old global custody system, but that didn't stop Peter Magrini, svp of trust and custody application development, from building a new one that could adapt better to a business the institution planned to grow.

The $18 billion-asset, Chicago-based institution supported its global custody business with a proprietary system running on an IBM 3270 mainframe that dated from the 1970s. It worked fine, says Magrini, but it lacked the scalability that Northern Trust felt it needed to grow its global custody business, which has $779 billion in institutional assets under management.

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