BNY Mellon is still on the acquisition trail, particularly in Australasia, following the purchase of the stake it did not already own in the former West AM

Australia – renamed Ankura Capital – and the London-based Blackfriars Asset Management. Both were divested by German bank WestLB, which has been hit hard by the credit crisis.

BNY Mellon is also expecting to be granted branch status in

Australia within the next few months, enabling it to expand its services locally, and has already recruited a branch operations manager for the

Sydney office.

BNY Mellon has also applied for a bank branch licence in

Shanghai. According to Chris Sturdy, BNY Mellon’s chairman of Asia-Pacific, the group is looking for further opportunities in the region, although he believes that asset prices are likely to come down further. “We generally feel that prices will get better,” he said on a recent trip to

Australia.

“We like where we’re situated, to take advantage of that, because of the strength of the organisation.” David Jiang, the head of asset management in the region, said that there were some gaps in the manager’s portfolio of affiliates in Australia and Asia, which BNY Mellon would look to fill. These involved firms which provided dividends, or retirement products.

“Dividends will become more important as the populations age and as we move away from equities,” he said. “So, managers who can produce income streams will be sought after. We don’t have enough Asian or Australian-based products that meet that need.” Jiang said that the provision of those sorts of investment products might entail linking with retail-orientated managers or institutions.

Sydney-based Ankura Capital, headed by experienced quant manager Greg Vaughan, has recently expanded into Japanese equities, using similar models to its Australian style. Ankura has about $1 billion under management, primarily Australian-sourced. Jiang said that large pension funds tended to decide in the fourth quarter last year to go back into global equities and were funding new mandates now.

He predicted that the nature of global investing would change significantly over the next two-to-five years when the US dollar began depreciating again. Sturdy, whose role oversees asset servicing in the region, said he saw substantial growth in

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