- "It's our business to keep London in balance, monitoring shipments by road, sea and rail."
- ―Ned on his "business", 1868.[src]
Using a business centered around London's transit systems as cover for his criminal activities, Ned was able to rob many shipments coming into the city of their valuables. He was also an ally of the Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye, who helped Ned by hijacking cargo from his primary opposition, the Templar-affiliated Blighters.
Born in New York City, Ned was raised in American "polite society", which he resented and wished to escape from. By day, he played the part of a respectable young girl, but by night he snuck out and dressed as a boy. Among thieves and petty criminals, Ned found the life outside societal constraints that he had been looking for.
Turning to theft as well, he made a name for himself as a jewel thief, but escaped the notice of the authorities, who failed to see a connection between "Netta" and "Ned". Once he had amassed enough money, Ned left home, abandoning his previous life and identity permanently. Excelling in the criminal underworld, he was recruited by Adam Worth, the "Napoleon of Crime", to set up a crime syndicate at the heart of the British Empire, to which Ned agreed, having dreamed of traveling to London since he was young.
Enterprise in London
- Ned: "God damn it! Where do you come off rescuing me?"
- Jacob: "I believe it's pronounced "thank you", you ingrate!"
- Ned: "I operate on a strict policy of keeping people indebted to me, not the other way around. I hate having to return favors!"
- —Ned and Jacob squabbling during the latter's rescue of the former, 1868.[src]-[m]
Once in London, Ned made Southwark his base of operations and quickly assembled a group of hardworking, loyal thieves to aid his cause. However, the Blighters' activities within the city caused problems for Ned's plans.
In 1868, Ned met the local Assassins Henry Green, Evie and Jacob Frye in their train hideout, complimenting them on the locomotive and leaving an address for them if they wished to contact him and learn more about London's transit systems. When the Frye twins later met with him at Waterloo station, they agreed to combat the Blighters by hijacking their cargo.
Sometime after, he was arrested by the police, but Jacob managed to free him from this predicament. In return, the Assassin asked Ned for his assistance in securing Malcolm Millner's internal combustion engines. Complying, Ned procured an additional train so Jacob could intercept the shipment; however, upon learning that the internal combustion engines were to go to Pearl Attaway, he became wary and asked Jacob how long he had known her. Ned nonetheless relented when Jacob promised that he would still receive financial compensation.
Thanks to the Frye twins' efforts, the Blighter presence in the city was significantly reduced, allowing Ned's activities to continue unhindered. As their ties strengthened, Ned provided them with various precious materials and schematics for weaponry.
Behind the scenes
Ned's character is based on the historical figure of the same name, a criminal living in London during the 19th century. Reportedly, the real Ned Wynert used the alias "Johnny Smith" and was a notorious womanizer. 
A chain of side-missions centered around Ned had originally been planned for Syndicate, but ultimately ended up being cut during the development process.