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BNY Mellon WM on the hunt for acquisitions in int’l growth drive

BNY Mellon WM on the hunt for acquisitions in int’l growth drive

BNY Mellon Wealth Management has been prioritizing growing its international business and is seeking merger and acquisition opportunities to expand their multi-jurisdiction client base.

The firm is also considering opening an office in the western US to service Latin American and Asian clients, Jeroen Kwist, head of the international wealth unit, said in an interview with Citywire Americas.

The firm has offices in London, New York, Miami, the Cayman Islands, Dubai and Hong Kong and focuses on clients and families across the world that have links to those six jurisdictions through, for example, owning property or businesses in those hubs.

Since London-based Kwist (pictured below) was appointed head of the international business in May 2016, BNY Mellon’s international wealth unit completed a restructure to integrate what was previously separate areas - Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (APAC) and Latin America.

‘We feel very good about the structure we have in place for now, but we are interested in investing in it. If there are other growth opportunities that present themselves in M&A, we’re always open to that,’ he said.

‘We look on an ongoing basis[...] there are a lot of providers that are retrenching while some are building, so that creates opportunities on all ends of the spectrum.’

Kwist said that the firm decided its strategy was never to be in as many jurisdictions as possible, but to be in the ‘right ones’. The firm has not made any final decisions on opening up a West Coast location but there is a ‘clear opportunity with the amount of Asian and Latin American wealth coming into those areas.’

‘Looking toward the West coast of the US makes a lot of sense… the reason for that is because the overlap and the connection to the US is getting stronger and stronger.

‘That really plays into the strategy of where we need to have hubs in the right locations to service these clients,’ he added.

The firm's international business fits into BNY Mellon Wealth Management, which also includes US domestic, family offices and trust businesses. The wealth management firm managed a total of $231 billion in total client assets as of September 30, 2017.

Last month, BNY Mellon Wealth Management in Miami hired EFG Capital International’s former Americas investment strategy head, Carolina Montiel, as a director working within its ultra-high net worth client advisory team.

The firm also hired former PNC and Merrill Lynch international advisor Esteban Colon as a wealth director in New York in mid-2016.

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