BNY Mellon Hires in Private Banking, Corporate Trust

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The newly merged Bank of New York Mellon Corp. is on a hiring spree in at least two divisions -corporate trust services, and private wealth management.

The bank recently announced plans to add 150 corporate trust jobs in Pittsburgh and 50 in Chicago by the end of 2008. It has been systematically integrating JPMorgan Chase's former corporate trust business, which it acquired a year ago.

Separately, BNY Mellon Wealth Management expects to enlarge its current 90-person sales force to 100 by the end of this year and by 50 percent to 100 percent within a few years, according to the unit's chief executive .

Many of the new sales positions may be located outside the U.S. "Over the next three to four years, I see us adding people internationally," the executive, David Lamere, said at a Reuters conference Wednesday.

He said that rather than "trying to lift out individuals who can bring a boat load of clients with them" from rival banks' private wealth units, BNY Mellon's focus is on grooming its present staff and recruiting new bankers from outside the industry. Both steps have been advocated by consulting firms such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Scorpio Partnership, due to concerns about an industry-wide shortage of wealth managers with experience serving private clients.

However, Boston Consulting Group warned this week that private wealth advisers should prepare for a possible downturn next year, according to Financial News.

Christian de Juniac, a BCG senior partner, cited challenges that include margin pressure from higher costs in Asia and elsewhere, and the possibility that clients will shy away if markets turn downward. "At a guess, half the advisers operating in the market have been recruited since 2000. The big question is whether they have been trained to listen sympathetically to clients during a downturn," de Juniac told the newspaper. He also urged banks to press leaders of their private wealth groups to devote more time to developing their teams.

BCG's seventh annual wealth survey released last week found that global wealth grew 7.5 percent to $98 trillion in 2006 and assets of households with more than $100,000 in assets swelled 64 percent to $51 trillion over the past five years.