Mellon Bank Corp. said Thursday that it formed a partnership with a major French bank to offer trust and investment services in Europe and the United States.
The venture with Paris-based Credit Commercial de France will provide investment advisory and money management services to institutional investors.
Known as CCF-Mellon Partners, the venture is the latest example of a pooling of resources, known as a strategic alliance, that banks and other types of companies have viewed as an efficient route to international growth.
Mellon, which like many U.S. banks pulled back from the international arena during lean times in the 1980s, has been especially intent on expanding such securities-related specialties as investment management, global custody, and transfer-agency services.
In November, Mellon took a 9.9% stake in R-M Trust Co., a Canadian institution providing stock and bond transfer and debt trusteeship to Canadian companies.
Mellon also owns a London-based investment management company, Pareto Partners, which has joined forces with Hughes Aircraft Co., a General Motors Corp. subsidiary, to develop advanced investment software.
Equal Partnership Seen
CCF-Mellon Partners, characterized as an equal partnership, will be based in Pittsburgh, where Mellon has its headquarters.
William F. Adam of Mellon Bond Associates, another Mellon Bank Corp. investment unit in Pittsburgh, will serve as managing director. Pierre-Edouard de la Tour of Credit Commercial de France will be deputy managing director of the partnership.
"Basically, we want to increase our presence [in Europe] and take our investment management to the European continent," a Mellon spokesman said after the alliance was announced Thursday.
French Bank's View
"Mellon brings to European clients a great variety of investment management options from its U.S..-based subsidiaries," said Michel Pebereau, chairman and chief executive officer of Credit Commercial de France.
Mellon said it expects the partnership to be up and running in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval.
"CCF-Mellon partners is a union of two of the top quantitative investment managers in the world," said Frank V. Cahouet, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Mellon Bank Corp. The two banks together "can access new geographic markets more efficiently and at lower expense than otherwise would be possible," he said.
A Less Expensive Route
Aside from combining the two owners investment perspectives and options, the partnership can rely on "existing resources rather than incurring the capital outlay and cost of a start-up firm," Mr. Pebereau said.
Mellon Bank Corp. has $30 billion in assets, ranking 24th among U.S. banking companies at March 31. It also has more than $85 billion in assets under management and $350 billion under administration as custodian or trustee.
Total revenues from fee-based services last year rose 13% at Mellon, to $742 million, of which $307 million, or 10% more than in 1990, came from trust operations.
CCF, France's 10th-largest bank, with $58 billion in assets and $23 billion under management has also been extending its international asset management.
It claims that a subsidiary, CCF-Structured Asset Management, has become a leader in quantitative investment management techniques in Europe.
CCF also manages assets in London through the Framlington Group, in Geneva through Handelsfinanz-CCF Bank, and in Tokyo through Japan Gamma.