Northern Trust & Scribe: Technology-Driven Results

Meg Zabrowski
October 6, 2022
min read
September 19, 2023
Photo credit
Scribe has provided a tool to allow Northern Trust to streamline their processes, reducing time spent on non-client tasks by 69% and giving partners more time to focus on delivering service to their clients.


As a 132-year-old company, Northern Trust has built strong institutional knowledge around delivering quality service and results to clients.

Pete Cherecwich, President of Northern Trust Asset Servicing, knew that in order to continue raising the bar on client service, he needed to find innovative ways to capture and spread this knowledge across all partners and increase the productivity of his teams.

In our business, what matters most is our ability to deliver outstanding service and value for our clients. Were always seeking out innovative solutions to stay ahead of the curve. Our partnership with Scribe is part of our ongoing commitment to use cutting-edge technology to deliver excellent service. Scribe helps us accomplish this without sacrificing the employee experience; on the contrary, it is making our employees more productive.”    
- Pete Cherecwich, President of Asset Servicing

As a large, complex financial institution, Northern Trust runs on processes. Yet, creating and maintaining an up-to-date record of all of those processes, in a format employees can actually use, is a challenge for any scaled organization.

As a result, it can be difficult to ensure all employees are following the same, standard processes; this represents a productivity drag, or even worse, inferior client service and increased risk exposure.  

Because process adherence is so important, Northern Trust’s partners dedicate real time to establishing and sharing procedures.

Pete knew that if he could find ways to improve knowledge sharing and accessibility, it would help improve how Northern Trust services clients.  Pete brought Scribe into Northern Trust as an easy-to-use tool for partners to document and share their global processes across the organization.

Scribe is helping us solve a problem thats as old as time. Were thrilled with how intuitive and user-friendly Scribe is, and weve truly seen the results, both quantitatively and anecdotally. It's helping to change the way we work, as we continue to find new ways to utilize the platform.”

- Pete Cherecwich, President of Asset Servicing

Scribe’s automatic step-by-step guides have enabled Northern Trust to scale the institutional knowledge of their tenured, knowledge-rich partners and make it accessible to everyone across their global organization (including their newest partners).

As more departments deploy Scribe, Northern Trust continues to find new applications. Scribe can be used anywhere partners need to capture and share how to do a process — such as:

  • Documenting standard operating procedures.
  • Augmenting training programs.
  • Removing barriers to global collaboration.
  • Strengthening risk and compliance management. 

Here are a few snapshots of these examples.

Document standard operating procedures

All standard operating procedures (SOPs) at Northern Trust are fully documented. These procedures include detailed step-by-step process guides which help standardize daily activity.

This documentation is critical, but traditionally, quite time-consuming as it is done manually. Northern Trust teams have been able to use Scribe to streamline detailed procedure guides and SOPs in significantly less time; now, partners have process documentation available at their fingertips.

At Northern Trust we have a robust approach to maintaining formal business procedures, which is important for continuity, accuracy and to meet regulatory requirements. However, previously when procedures were updated, it took team members away from business-as-usual and was very time consuming to manually type the step-by-step instructions and insert screenshots. With Scribe our team has been able to create the detailed step-by-step process guides we need as part of our overall formal procedure documentation in so much less time.”

-Michelle Jamison, Manager Depositary Operations  

Augment traditional training programs

Like any big organization, Northern Trust has a thorough training program for employees — whether onboarding new hires or educating existing employees on the latest processes. Scaling remote training for a 20,000+ person company proved challenging when the pandemic hit.

The Global Training Organization is able to use Scribe to complement their existing training — for example, providing step-by-step guides as leave-behinds following live trainings.

Using Scribe helped Northern Trust reduce the amount of time spent building training material, and new hires reported faster training times thanks to Scribe’s on-demand documents.

Remove barriers to global collaboration

Northern Trust is also using Scribe to help global teams collaborate with each other more easily.

As a global organization with locations around the world, teams can more easily communicate and collaborate by using Scribe to help standardize process documentation.

As part of regular training sessions, cross-training teams conduct detailed walkthroughs during live meetings, which can be challenging to accommodate across different regions and time zones.

With Scribe, even the most nuanced tasks can be captured and communicated. Partners simply activate Scribe, run through their process, and Scribe automatically generates step-by-step guides. The result is the ability to seamlessly cross-train on tasks and transition responsibilities across geographies and time zones without disruptions.

In efforts to streamline our processes and make the business more efficient, we continually consolidate responsibilities within functional pods and transition some work between offices around the globe. Having Scribe makes the necessary documentation significantly easier to generate, and enables teams to execute much of the transition asynchronously.”

-Liam Butler, COO Northern Trust Ireland  

Strengthening risk & compliance management 

As a financial institution, Northern Trust is diligent about maintaining risk oversight across all fronts. By using Scribe, Northern Trust gives their global employees the tools to follow processes more easily and in compliance with local regulations and law. 

Now, creating compliance documentation can be as easy as auto-generating a step-by-step Scribe to provide partners with access to standardized procedures.

Risk management and resiliency are synonymous with productivity here at Northern Trust. Our goal is to drive risk reduction through data and digital tools, and Scribe is a key part of that strategy.”

-John Blackburn, Chief Productivity Officer 


By rolling Scribe out across Northern Trust, Pete has empowered his teams to document and follow processes thoroughly, helping to reduce risk and maximize productivity. Now, processes are documented, questions can be easily answered, and teams can spend more time delivering impact for their clients.

Based on an internal survey, teams reduced time spent on non-client tasks by 69 percent1 — representing significant savings for the business each year. 

Teams also reported an increase in employee satisfaction, faster training times, and improved performance towards KPIs.

Scribe has provided a tool to allow Northern Trust to streamline their processes and work more seamlessly, giving partners more time to focus on delivering service to their clients.

1 Operational Excellence Study. Enlighten. December 9, 2020. Internal Survey.

© 2022 Northern Trust Corporation. Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A. Incorporated with limited liability as an Illinois corporation under number 0014019. Products and services provided by subsidiaries of Northern Trust Corporation may vary in different markets and are offered in accordance with local regulation. This material is directed to professional clients only and is not intended for retail clients. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author's employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. For Asia-Pacific markets, it is directed to expert, institutional, professional and wholesale clients or investors only and should not be relied upon by retail clients or investors. For legal and regulatory information about our offices and legal entities, visit The following information is provided to comply with local disclosure requirements: The Northern Trust Company, London Branch, Northern Trust Global Investments Limited, Northern Trust Securities LLP and Northern Trust Investor Services Limited, 50 Bank Street, London E14 5NT. Northern Trust Global Services SE, 10 rue du Château d’Eau, L-3364 Leudelange, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, incorporated with limited liability in Luxembourg at the RCS under number B232281; Northern Trust Global Services SE UK Branch, 50 Bank Street, London E14 5NT; Northern Trust Global Services SE Sweden Bankfilial, Ingmar Bergmans gata 4, 1st Floor, 114 34 Stockholm, Sweden, registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Sw. Bolagsverket) with registration number 516405-3786 and the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Sw. Finansinspektionen) with institution number 11654, Northern Trust Global Services SE Netherlands Branch, Viñoly 7th floor, Claude Debussylaan 18 A, 1082 MD Amsterdam; Northern Trust Global Services SE Abu Dhabi Branch, registration Number 000000519 licenced by ADGM under FSRA #160018;  Northern Trust Global Services SE Norway Branch, org. no. 925 952 567 (Foretaksregisteret) [VAT if applicable], address Third Floor, Haakon VIIs gate 6 0161 Oslo, supervised by Finanstilsynet. Northern Trust Global Services SE, Leudelange, Luxembourg, Zweigniederlassung Basel is a branch of Northern Trust Global Services SE (itself authorised by the ECB and subject to the prudential supervision of the ECB and the CSSF). The Branch has its registered office at Grosspeter Tower, Grosspeteranlage 29, 4052 Basel, Switzerland, and is authorised and regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA. The Northern Trust Company Saudi Arabia, PO Box 7508, Level 20, Kingdom Tower, Al Urubah Road, Olaya District, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 11214-9597, a Saudi Joint Stock Company – capital 52 million SAR. Regulated and Authorised by the Capital Market Authority License #12163-26 CR 1010366439. Northern Trust (Guernsey) Limited (2651)/Northern Trust Fiduciary Services (Guernsey) Limited (29806)/Northern Trust International Fund Administration Services (Guernsey) Limited (15532) Registered Office: Trafalgar Court, Les Banques, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3DA. Northern Trust International Fund Administration Services (Ireland) Limited (160579)/Northern Trust Fiduciary Services (Ireland) Limited (161386),  Registered Office: Georges Court, 54-62 Townsend Street, Dublin 2, D02 R156, Ireland.

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