Northern Trust Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are the two finalists to be the custodian for Australian Reward Investment Alliance’s $18 billion fund. Letters of rejection were sent to their rivals.

Northern Trust, with US$4.4 trillion globally in assets under custody, may have ousted JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services, US$16.9 trillion globally in assets, say people familiar with the matter.

Peter Carrigy-Ryan, ARIA’s chief operating officer, says no decision has been made on which custodian the fund will employ. He declined to comment on Northern Trust and JPMorgan.

State Street, NAB Group and BNP Paribas have been told by ARIA they were unsuccessful in their application to be its custodian, say people familiar with the matter.

ARIA may become Northern Trust’s third Australian client. Northern Trust is the custodian for the $74 billion Future Fund. It performs middle-office fund operations for Queensland Investment Corporation.

If Northern Trust does win the ARIA contract it will be a blow to  JPMorgan. In February it lost the custody contract of the $18 billion REST Industry Super to State Street. In late May its key relationship manager for the superannuation market, Enzo Cotroneo, became head of product for Australia and New Zealand at rival Citi Securities and Transaction Services.

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