Mellon Bank Corp. continued its march overseas this week with the announcement of yet another international asset management joint venture- this time in Hong Kong.
The deal, unveiled Monday, is with Hamon Investment Group. It was the Pittsburgh banking company's fourth offshore asset management alliance in as many months.
Terms of the agreement with Hamon were not disclosed, but Mellon said it is taking a minority stake in the Hong Kong company, effective immediately.
Hamon and Dreyfus Global Asset Management, Mellon's mutual fund umbrella organization, will work together to develop mutual funds and eventually will cross-sell each other's products, said Christopher M. "Kip" Condron, a Mellon vice chairman and president and chief executive officer of Dreyfus.
The alliance will begin next month with the launching of the Dreyfus Greater China Fund, which will be subadvised by Hamon and sold in the United States, said Mr. Condron. The equity fund will focus on the Hong Kong, Chinese, and Taiwanese markets, with an initial 50% weighting in Hong Kong securities, said a bank spokesman.
"Although the Asian markets are in a bit of turmoil currently, from a long-term perspective we think it's a product that will have significant appeal in the U.S. marketplace," said Mr. Condron.
Though Chinese markets have yet to fully mature and may be in flux for some time, he added, "there is enormous opportunity." Mellon's alliance with Hamon will extend beyond Hong Kong because the firm has a presence in Shanghai, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India.
Mr. Condron said he believes Mellon can leverage Hamon's asset management experience in its ventures in Japan, Latin America, and the United States. "All these pieces of the puzzle fit kind of nicely together, we think," he said.
Monday's announcement came about a month after Mellon formed an alliance with Tokyo-Mitsubishi Asset Management, a unit of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. Under that agreement-which did not involve an equity stake-Dreyfus is subadviser on the Tokyo-Mitsubishi Global Balanced Fund, which was rolled out one week ago.
Mellon also has equity stakes in the asset management arms of the Chilean banking company Bicecorp SA and Brazil's Banco Brascan.
It is unclear whether Mellon plans to take on the growing European fund market. Mr. Condron declined to comment on whether he is seeking European partners. However, he said, "to be a player in the global marketplace, we think you have to be a significant player in Europe."