Northern Trust's early involvement in blockchain technology has earned recognition as it was named Private Equity Fund Administrator of the Year at the 2017 Global Investor Awards.

The awards, now in their 16th year, aim to recognise outstanding performance and contributions to the financial services industry. The group was handed its prize during a gala ceremony at London's Grange Tower Bridge Hotel.

Northern Trust achieved the accolade based on its pioneering work to launch the world's first commercial deployment of blockchain technology for the private equity market earlier this year.

In collaboration with IBM and other key stakeholders, it built a security-rich blockchain, or distributed ledger solution, based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric. It is now being used for the management and administration of a private equity fund by Unigestion, a Geneva-based asset manager with $20 billion in assets under management.

The group opted for a Guernsey-based fund because the use of blockchain had been promptly approved by the Guernsey authorities. Northern Trust has offered a wide range of financial services from the island since 1972.

Northern Trust Channel Islands Chief Executive Belinda Aspinall was delighted with the award and highlighted the positive approach to innovation demonstrated by the Guernsey finance sector.

"The award also reflects the Guernsey finance industry's collaborative approach to innovation," she said. "Throughout our project we worked closely with a range of Guernsey-based stakeholders including the States of Guernsey and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission as well as locally-based legal counsel and technology providers to bring the solution to market."

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