Northern Trust Corp. took a big step toward bolstering its investment management business Wednesday by naming former Zurich Kemper Investments Inc. chief executive Stephen B. Timbers to head a newly created business line.

Barry G. Hastings, president and chief operating officer for Northern Trust, said the company has lofty goals of building its asset management business. The $25.3 billion-asset banking company has been known primarily for its corporate and personal trust businesses, but Mr. Hastings said it also wants to be known as a leading money manager.

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