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Responsible Investing Solutions Launched by Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS)

Category: Investment

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LONDON - November 2, 2012 (www.investorideas.com newswire) Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS) has enhanced its range of solutions for institutional investors seeking socially responsible investing options through an agreement with MSCI ESG Indices and MSCI ESG Research.

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Using MSCI's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research, ratings, and screening tools, Northern Trust will be able to provide customisable ESG solutions to its clients.

"Northern Trust has a broad commitment to responsible investing and is dedicated to providing our clients with customisable index solutions that help them meet their ESG objectives," said Steve Potter, global head of asset management at Northern Trust. "We are increasingly seeing growth in ESG portfolios as investors become more aware of ESG factors and their possible influence on a corporation's financial profitability and brand reputation."

"Our clients are looking for thoughtful, customised ESG solutions which address their requirements not only for good governance and social intent, but in generating returns," he added.

Northern Trust clients looking to integrate ESG factors in their investment portfolios can, through the agreement with MSCI, now access 79 distinct indices ranging from global ESG best in class to regional responsible investing themes, such as clean technology, and further customise these according to their unique requirements. Northern Trust is also working with MSCI to create custom ESG indices for passive institutional funds.

Northern Trust manages approximately US$17 billion in socially screened, active and passive managed portfolios for clients across the globe and has close to 25 years of experience managing socially responsible portfolios and socially-screened assets. This agreement demonstrates Northern Trust's long-term global commitment to developing responsible investing products and adds to its existing portfolio of responsible investing solutions, including the Northern Trust Global Sustainability Index Fund (Ticker: NSRIX). The Global Sustainability Index Fund was the first mutual fund to track a global sustainability index and rates, and was awarded a Gold award by Standard & Poor's Equity Research in its U.S. Mutual Fund Excellence Awards Program.

"MSCI is delighted to be working with Northern Trust to offer a range of global ESG indices to institutional investor clients," said Remy Briand, Managing Director and Head of MSCI Index and ESG Research. "MSCI ESG Research's objective is to provide investors with a broad range of tools to integrate ESG factors across classes according to their specific requirements."

"By licensing all of the MSCI ESG indices we have full access to the best-in-class research and analysis undertaken by MSCI," said Mamadou-abou Sarr, senior product specialist for global index management at Northern Trust. "This will allow us to efficiently and economically implement passive ESG investment portfolios for our clients around the world."

According to a study conducted by Northern Trust in 2011, Customized Beta - Changing Perspectives on Passive Investing, 44 percent of investors surveyed indicated that their responsible investing allocations had increased in the past two years.

As at 30 June 2012, Northern Trust manages over US$704 billion of assets for its clients worldwide. Of this US$321.2 billion are index assets and US$328.2 billion active, with the remainder managed in alternatives or multi-manager solutions. Northern Trust is currently ranked fourth largest index manager in the world, according to a Pensions & Investments magazine special report published in May 2012.

"Investors are showing increased interest in analysing their financial portfolios to assess climate-change impact and risk, among other ESG factors," Connie Lindsey, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Northern Trust. "This gives us an opportunity to provide clients with more advanced capabilities related to ESG analysis. These new investment offerings are an important part of Northern Trust's commitment to ESG principles, in line with the continued execution of our global corporate citizenship practices."

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of investment management, asset and fund administration, banking solutions and fiduciary services for corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide. Northern Trust, a financial holding company based in Chicago, has offices in 18 U.S. states and 16 international locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of September 30, 2012, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$4.8 trillion, and assets under investment management of US$749.7 billion. For more than 120 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader in combining exceptional service and expertise with innovative products and technology. For more information, visit www.northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.

About MSCI and MSCI ESG Research

MSCI Inc. is a leading provider of investment decision support tools to investors globally, including asset managers, banks, hedge funds and pension funds. MSCI products and services include indices, portfolio risk and performance analytics, and governance tools. The company's flagship product offerings are: the MSCI indices with approximately USD 7 trillion estimated to be benchmarked to them on a worldwide basis1; Barra multi-asset class factor models, portfolio risk and performance analytics; RiskMetrics multi-asset class market and credit risk analytics; MSCI ESG (environmental, social and governance) Research screening, analysis and ratings; ISS governance research and outsourced proxy voting and reporting services; FEA valuation models and risk management software for the energy and commodities markets; and CFRA forensic accounting risk research, legal/regulatory risk assessment, and due-diligence. MSCI is headquartered in New York, with research and commercial offices around the world.

MSCI ESG Research products and services are designed to provide in-depth research, ratings and analysis of environmental, social and governance-related business practices to companies worldwide. ESG ratings, data and analysis from MSCI ESG Research are also used in the construction of the MSCI ESG Indices. MSCI ESG Research is produced by MSCI's indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. ("ISS"). ISS is a Registered Investment Adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

1As of June 30, 2011, based on eVestment, Lipper and Bloomberg data.

For further information on MSCI, please visit www.msci.com.

The material within and any linked material accessed via this communication is directed to eligible counterparties and professional clients only and should not be distributed to or relied upon by retail investors. For Asia Pacific markets, it is directed to institutional investors, expert investors and professional investors only and should not be relied upon by retail investors.

Northern Trust (Guernsey) Limited, Northern Trust Fiduciary Services (Guernsey) Limited, and Northern Trust International Fund Administration Services (Guernsey) Limited are licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. Northern Trust International Fund Administrators (Jersey) Limited and Northern Trust Fiduciary Services (Jersey) Limited are regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Northern Trust International Fund Administration Services (Ireland) Limited, Northern Trust Securities Services (Ireland) Limited and Northern Trust Fiduciary Services (Ireland) Limited are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Northern Trust Global Services Limited has a Luxembourg Branch, which is authorised and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). Northern Trust Luxembourg Management Company S.A. is regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). Northern Trust Global Investments Limited has a Netherlands branch, which is authorised by the Financial Services Authority and subject to regulation in the Netherlands by the Autoriteit Financiële Markten. Northern Trust Global Services Limited has a Netherlands Branch, which is authorised and regulated in the Netherlands by De Nederlandsche Bank. Northern Trust Global Investments Limited has a Sweden branch, which is authorised by the Financial Services Authority and subject to regulation in Sweden by the Finansinspektionen. Northern Trust Global Services Ltd (UK) Sweden Filial is authorised by the Financial Services Authority and subject to regulation by the Finansinspektionen. Northern Trust Global Services Limited operates in Abu Dhabi as a Representative Office. Our registered office is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates. The Northern Trust Company operates in Australia as a foreign authorised deposit-taking institution (foreign ADI) and is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The Northern Trust Company has a branch in China regulated by the China Banking Regulatory Commission. The Northern Trust Company of Hong Kong Limited is regulated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Northern Trust Global Investments Japan, K.K. is regulated by the Japan Financial Services Agency. The Northern Trust Company has a Singapore Branch, which is a foreign wholesale bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The Northern Trust Company operates in Canada as The Northern Trust Company, Canada Branch, which is an authorised foreign bank branch under the Bank Act (Canada). Trustee related services in Canada are provided by the wholly owned subsidiary The Northern Trust Company, Canada, an authorised trust company under the Trust & Loans Companies Act (Canada). Deposits with The Northern Trust Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries are not insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To the extent that this message or any attachment concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. For more information about this notice, see http://www.northerntrust.com/circular230.

The S&P Equity Research Mutual Fund Excellence Awards is an annual awards program designed to recognize those US mutual funds that have achieved the highest overall ranking in their category on the most consistent basis during the previous measurement year based on S&P's proprietary, quantitative research methodology. Among the factors the research process seeks to identify are consistently strong performance, high quality holdings as measured by S&P STARS equity research, S&P Credit Ratings and S&P Quality Ranks and favorable cost factors.. Northern Trust Global Sustainability Index Fund won Gold out of three finalists in the Global/Domestic Equity-New and Notable category for funds existing for three years or less. S&P used its own quantitative research to select the winners. The selections were based on S&P ratings and rankings for the year ended August 31, 2010. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Equity Risk: Equity securities (stocks) are more volatile and carry more risk than other forms of investments, including investments in high-grade fixed income securities. The net asset value per share of this Fund will fluctuate as the value of the securities in the portfolio changes. Index Fund Risk: The performance of the Fund is expected to be lower than that of the Index because of Fund fees and expenses. It is important to remember that there are risks associated with index investing, including the potential risk of market decline, as well as the risks associated with investing in specific companies. International Risk: International investing involves increased risk and volatility. MSCI World ESG Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted index comprised of large- and mid-cap developed market companies in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Index holds a broad, diversified set of global companies, selected based on regional sector ranking of environmental, social and governance factors. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Please carefully read the prospectus and summary prospectus and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of Northern Funds before investing. Call 800-595-9111 to obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus, which contain this and other information about the fund. Northern Funds are distributed by Northern Funds Distributors, LLC, not affiliated with Northern Trust.

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