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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No, The Article Title Isn't A Typo

New Northern Trust Unit Targets Wealthy Gays

Northern Trust is adding a new practice to its wealth management services that it says will meet the needs of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and “non-traditional” families. So reports the Chicago Tribune.

John McGowan, the national practice leader for the new unit and formerly a senior relationship manager in Northern Trust’s wealth management group, says the move recognizes that the “definition of family has evolved.”

McGowan says Northern Trust has helped LGBT clients develop wealth management strategies for decades. He says the bank has “the experience to deal with unique legal, tax and wealth transfer challenges.”

Northern Trust, the largest bank in Chicago, piloted the unit in that city over the past year. McGowan says the service will soon move to other large markets, namely South Florida and Southern California. Eventually, the service will be available in all 18 states where Northern Trust has a presence, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

Industry experts say Northern Trust appears to be one of the few wealth management firms to create a special unit dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBT community.

Mark Braun, formerly a Northern Trust private banker, is the unit’s new national practice liaison. His duties include building relationships among LGBT individuals and families, community organizations, and other advisors, the company says.

Northern Trust has offered benefits to its employees involved in same-sex relationships for at least 13 years, McGowan notes.

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