State Street in Nordic coup

Signing dealState Street Corporation has won a €5.6 billion asset servicing mandate from a Finnish pension fund, usurping SEB Group, a leading Nordic player. Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company appointed New York-listed State Street to provide a wide range of services, including custody, fund accounting, securities lending and daily risk services. Jari Puhakka, chief investment officer of Etera, indicates that regulation played a key role in the change. “Given the Finnish and European regulatory challenges facing the industry, and our enhanced investment strategy we needed to look to future proof our current business model.” He added that a “holistic solution to our liabilities” was important. Paola Bergamaschi, head of asset owner solutions for State Street in Europe, Middle East and Africa, says in a statement about the mandate win: “Asset owners need access to real-time data to optimise their investment decisions. This helps explain why almost nine out of 10 asset owners plan to invest in order management and execution management systems over the next three years.” Etera is a mutual employment pension insurance company covering employees and self-employed persons, paying out approximately €1 billion to 146,000 pension recipients each year. Competition in the Nordic custody business between regional players on one hand and international firms on the other has heated up ever since Nordea sold its custody business to JP Morgan in 2008. SEB Group had not been able to comment by the time this article went to press. ©2014 funds europe

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