Northern Trust Launches LGBT Financial Services Unit

"The definition of family has evolved," company spokesman says

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    Chicago-based Northern Trust is making a progressive step in banking, creating a specialized unit aiming to meet the financial needs of non-traditional families, including gay, lesbian and transgendered people, the company announced Tuesday.

    "Northern Trust recognizes the definition of family has evolved," said John McGowan, whom the company named as the man responsible for implementing the program in markets around the county.

    He recognizes that Northern Trust has been assisting LGBT clients with unique wealth management strategies for decades, and the practice will help to spread the initiative.

    "[We] have the experience to deal with unique legal, tax and wealth transfer challenges. The creation of this group will help ensure our strategic focus will be executed more broadly across our network," McGowan said in a written statement.

    Over the years, the company has supported the LGBT community, contributing to the building campaign for the Midwest’s premier LGBT community center, Center on Halsted and becoming a national sponsor of Lamda Legal, national organization devoted to bringing legal equality to LGBT people.

    For more then 13 years, Northern Trust has supported the LGBT community within their own company, as one of the first financial service companies to begin offering domestic partnership benefits to employees.

    The announcement comes in advance of Gov. Pat Quinn's signature permitting civil unions in Illinois.