Northern Trust Co. is working to fill some high-level management positions after two of eight senior vice presidents left the Chicago-based banking company earlier this month.

Loren A. Hansen, an 11-year veteran who headed Northern Trust's institutional asset management since 1991, left to oversee the mutual fund business of Chicago-based investment management firm Stein Roe & Farnham.

And Lawrence P. Keblusek, former head of Northern Investment Counseling Group and director of portfolio management, left after 10 years to join Citibank Global Asset Management. He will be its U.S. chief investment officer.

A Northern Trust spokeswoman said that the bank is in discussions with candidates for the open positions. She said the vacancies were not indicative of any problems.

"It's a very competitive industry and those were individual decisions to take positions elsewhere," she said.

The departures come on the heels of another key management change at the company. In September, James L. Kermes left his post as the trust bank's chief investment officer to become chief executive at Philadelphia- based Glenmede Trust.

Replacing Mr. Kermes was James M. Snyder, Northern Trust's head of fixed-income investment and a 26-year veteran of the bank.

The Northern Trust spokeswoman attributed the recent departures to the "fluid" nature of the investment management business. She maintained that the company continues to be a player in the competition for talent, despite the losses.

But one professional recruiter familiar with the situation said that compensation played a part in the moves.

"It's as much, if not more, because of opportunity elsewhere, than because of any overwhelming disappointment with Northern," said the recruiter, who requested anonymity.

"I'm certain those fellows were on recruiters' lists for years - people like that don't have to look around," the recruiter added.

Mr. Kermes said he didn't think the departures signify any problems at Northern Trust. He said the timing of recent resignations is coincidental and for personal reasons.

Mr. Keblusek is now in charge of U.S. investment policy at Citibank's institutional investment management arm, which has $70 billion in assets under management.

At Northern Trust, Mr. Keblusek oversaw investment performance for high- net-worth, corporate, institutional, and mutual fund businesses.

Mr. Hansen is now responsible for a $5.3 billion proprietary mutual fund complex at the Liberty Financial Cos. subsidiary. He oversaw the management of $1.6 billion at Northern Trust, which has $100 billion under management.

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