Steve David (Northern Trust): At the forefront of a continental European growth strategy
Steve David is Chief Executive Officer of Northern Trust's Luxembourg-headquartered bank, Northern Trust Global Services SE, and Country Head of Northern Trust's Luxembourg Global Fund Services business supporting sophisticated Global Investment Managers. He outlines his career journey to date and key areas of focus for the period ahead.
Born in Bettembourg, Steve studied economics and finance at the Institut Catholique des Hautes Études Commerciales in Brussels, and in 1994 became an audit trainee at Price Waterhouse in Luxembourg (now PwC). He later joined Chase Manhattan Bank Luxembourg S.A., where he worked in the Quality Assurance and Compliance/Fiduciary departments. In 2000, he took on the position of Compliance Officer at IKANO Advisory Management S.A., a Luxembourg fund management company, and joined Northern Trust in 2004.
Northern Trust milestones
In 2004 Northern Trust opened an office in Luxembourg, resulting in the establishment of Europe’s first tax-transparent pooling investment vehicle. Steve became Northern Trust’s second hire, as Head of Risk and Control and Conducting Officer in the group’s Luxembourg Management Company. He became Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Northern Trust Luxembourg Management Company S.A in 2009. He served as Country Head for Northern Trust in Luxembourg between 2012 and March 2019, and as Chief Operating Officer for Northern Trust Global Services SE prior to assuming his present responsibilities.
Servicing clients’ evolving requirements
Luxembourg is the headquarters of Northern Trust’s EU bank, complementing its network of offices in eight European countries, regional Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in London and presence in 26 global locations.
Steve says: “Our presence in Luxembourg is at the forefront of Northern Trust’s continental European strategy for growth and servicing our clients’ requirements. Asset managers draw on our solutions to help distribute their funds across continental Europe and communicate with investors, while managing the complexity and costs of doing business.
“We support them through our ‘Whole Office’ approach – providing access to new technologies and capabilities, while supporting their trading, investment operations, data, digital and analytics requirements.
“We continue to be a top 10 administrator by assets under administration (as ranked in Monterey Insight’s Luxembourg Fund Report*), providing clients with related fund administration, depositary and global custody solutions while supporting requirements for data solutions, operational efficiency and investment insights across their organisations. Examples include our outsourced trading desk, Integrated Trading Solutions and helping asset managers and asset allocators optimise their investment processes through our Investment Data Science solutions in collaboration with leading technology providers.”
What important themes can you identify for the period ahead?
“We see continuing focus by investment managers on optimising efficiency across their businesses to ensure their operating models are as cost-effective as possible. The volatile market conditions of the past year means that managers are seeking ways of maintaining their operating margins in an environment where assets are not necessarily growing – heightening the need for innovation. This includes reducing manual processes through automation and using digital technology to optimise workflows. Examples include our industry partnership with Fenergo to digitise onboarding and due diligence for AML/KYC and associated compliance requirements.
“Additionally, 2023 marks the 35th anniversary of the first UCITS fund, launched from Luxembourg. Today, Luxembourg’s continuing growth as a global investment fund centre continues to drive opportunity for our clients – highlighting not only continuing global demand for UCITS funds and Luxembourg’s key role in their distribution but also in supporting alternative funds, including private equity, real estate and private debt strategies.”
Place of birth: Luxembourg
Languages: Luxembourgish, German, French, English, glimpse of Spanish
Hobbies: Sports, Art
Cities: Luxembourg, Aix-en-Provence, Tokyo (I haven’t been yet but it’s planned for 2025)
Restaurants: Kamakura, Fani, Nonbe, Ma Langue Sourit
Places: : the south of France, “Vieille-Ville” of Luxembourg
Books: Tintin, Enki Bilal, Yasunari Kawabata, Charles Bukowski, Helmut Newton
Music: Jazz-House, Jazz, Jacques Brel, Leonard Cohen
Artwork: Helmut Newton, Araki, Giraud, Joerg Doering, Sumo
* published September 2022