BNY Mellon Hires Former Illinois State Treasurer to Build Up Its Wealth Management Operation in Chicago

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BNY Mellon’s Chicago-based wealth management operation has hired former Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, and the bank’s regional vice president, Mike DiMedio, says he will be adding five more positions here just as soon as possible.

“Less than a year ago, BNY Mellon acquired the asset management arm of Chicago-based Talon Asset Management, and we're wasting no time in further growing our Chicago presence,” BNY spokesperson Susan Rivers tells eFinancialCareers.

Giannoulias’ role is to build and strengthen relationships with government entities across the country, but that position is “unique” to the former treasurer, DiMedio told eFinancialCareers, explaining that he plans to add another five wealth management positions in the Chicago office as quickly as he can to support its business targeting high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families.

Among those five, says DiMedio, will be: An additional business development officer, a senior private banker, a senior-level portfolio manager and two support staff positions—“one to support a private banker and the other to support a portfolio manager,” says DiMedio.

"This is the third largest wealth market in the U.S. and very important to us strategically,” DiMedio said in a statement announcing the former treasurer’s appointment.

The senior-level spots will require about 10 years of experience “plus or minus,” DiMedio adds, observing that BNY Mellon is looking for folks with a track record of success where they are now and working with the client base BNY Mellon is targeting—high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families with assets of $5 million and above. Interested parties should view the company’s Web site career page, he says.

Meanwhile, Giannoulias was appointed as senior advisor for strategic relationships serving both the wealth management business in Chicago and the BNY Mellon corporate entity nationally.

In the 2010 election, he ran as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, but the former Illinois treasurer lost the Senate race amid questions of his role in the downfall of Broadway Bank, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Giannoulias worked for his father at Broadway before entering politics, and during his successful run for state treasurer in 2006, he used his banking experience as one of his chief qualifications,” says that report, adding that the Broadway Bank lent a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer. BNY Mellon observes that while Giannoulias was state treasurer from 2007 to 2011, he was responsible for a $14 billion portfolio.

“We believe Alexi's proven commitment in the community, experience in public service and record of leadership will help us grow in delivering our world-class financial service capabilities to high net worth Chicagoans and the greater Chicagoland market,” he said.

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