Northern Trust Corp. has completed its purchase of Ulster Bank Investment Services of Dublin.

The Chicago banking company, which has $1.5 trillion of assets under custody, said Monday that it paid $12.8 million for the investment services arm of Ulster Bank Group.

The acquisition adds to the offshore funds for institutional clients on Northern Trust's Global Funds Services Group's menu, said Steven Fradkin, a senior vice president for international affairs at Northern Trust. He said it will also allow his company to better manage its funds in Dublin and to commingle funds for its European pension clients.

"With the rise of the euro, our European clients want to be able to invest in one market," Mr. Fradkin said. "Dublin is recognized as the venue that is the least punitive for this and the most tax-efficient venue. It is clearly the venue to commingle assets."

Northern Trust will retain Ulster Bank Investment Services' 60 employees.

In a separate announcement Northern said it is starting a new global communications portfolio. Stephen Timbers, president of Northern Trust Global Investments, said the fund will invest in large and small American and foreign companies in mature and emerging markets. He said it will be managed by vice president Ken Turek and second vice president Michael Eggly.

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