CHICAGO - The asset management division of Northern Trust Co. of Chicago said it will open a European subsidiary to target more business in the budding European pension fund market.

Northern Trust Global Investments Europe Ltd., an offshoot of the company's asset management unit, will initially focus on the Netherlands, the Nordic region, and Switzerland.

It will offer a full range of passive and active products across the capital and money markets, including multi-manager funds, which enable smaller pension funds to diversify their investment styles, the company said.

"It shows our commitment to European expansion, solidifies our business in Europe, and will enable us to expand our marketing effort," said Kevin Rochford, managing director of the subsidiary, in a statement.

Northern Trust already manages about $2.7 billion of assets for 40 pension funds in the United Kingdom.

The company said that this year it has been successful in bringing new pension fund business to new U.K. funds under management. Northern Trust set up its Global Investments division in London four years ago.

That arm of the company will manage the assets of the new European venture, the company said.

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