Expanding into a new area of securities processing, Bank of New York said Wednesday it would buy an 80% stake in Everen Clearing Corp. for an undisclosed sum.
After regulatory approvals, which are expected by the fourth quarter, the $63 billion-asset banking company would enter the correspondent clearing business, which involves executing trade orders and performing settlements for outside broker-dealers.
Bank of New York executives said they would use Everen as a springboard into securities clearing services that complement its custody, securities lending, and other broker-dealer services.
"It is a market we already know very well," Thomas J. Perna, a Bank of New York executive vice president, said in a telephone interview. "This will provide us with a very strong platform. We expect more transactions like this."
In correspondent clearing, Bank of New York would compete against major brokerage firms such as Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, which owns Pershing Inc., and Bear, Stearns & Co.
Mr. Perna said the new organization being formed out of the Everen operation, BNY Clearing Services, will court customers that do not want to use clearing entities affiliated with rival brokerages.
Everen Clearing is a unit of Everen Capital Corp., a full-service brokerage firm in Chicago that was spun off from Kemper Corp. in 1995. It clears for 35 broker-dealers, though 95% of its clearing activities are performed for its sister company, Everen Securities Inc.
Everen Capital, which is majority employee-owned, would retain the 20% of BNY Clearing that Bank of New York is not buying.
James R. Boris, Everen Capital's chairman and chief executive officer, said the joint venture would let his company attract more and larger correspondent clients because it would separate the clearing unit from Everen Securities.
"The opportunities for us to expand correspondent clearing were limited to small broker-dealers because we are perceived as small and we are in the brokerage business ourselves," Mr. Boris said.
Bank of New York has "a reputation in securities processing, and they don't compete," he added.
Terms of the deal call for Bank of New York to establish the BNY Clearing unit and take over Everen Clearing's Milwaukee home base and its 400 employees.
In turn, Everen Securities would outsource its clearing and cash management activities to BNY Clearing.
C. Michael Viviano, Everen Clearing's president and chief operating officer, would have those duties at BNY Clearing and report to Ralph M. Mastrangelo, Bank of New York's executive vice president in charge of broker-dealer services.