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

Australia,
with the
proposed
branch status giving the bank
“more
strings to our bow”.

BNY
last year celebrated the 10th
anniversary
of its partnership in global
custody
with NAB Custody, the country’s
largest
master custodian.
Sturdy
said BNY would be looking
to
introduce some of its new technology
in
asset servicing in the region:
“Most
of our technology has been
used
in the

US
and the growing hub in

Europe,” he said. “We now have a head
of
technology based in

Singapore
and
we’ll
be building our regional technology,
it’s
coming very soon.”

Blackfriars
Asset Management,
which
has US$2.7 billion under management,
focuses
on global and emerging
market
equity and debt and global
fixed interest.

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