Michael J. Gallimore's 1977 degree was in computer science, not finance. But in a sign of the importance technology has assumed in investment management, Northern Trust Corp. this week promoted the ex-programmer to chairman and chief executive officer of Northern Trust Global Advisors.

"Technology is such an important player in investment management," said Mr. Gallimore, 42. "We need to use technology in research and in portfolio construction in order to maximize performance for our clients or they will head somewhere else."

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