Six months after completing its acquisition of Boston Co., Mellon Bank Corp. is getting ready to unite two mutual fund families under a single banner.
A path should be cleared by Nov. 30 to begin merging Mellon Bank Corp.'s Laurel funds with Boston Co. funds, according to W. David Mills, manager for mutual fund marketing, planning, and development at the Pittsburgh-based bank.
If the funds' directors give their approval at meetings scheduled over the next two weeks, the merger should be complete by late spring, Mr. Mills said in a speech at the Bank Securities Association's annual convention.
The new funds, dubbed the Mellon Funds, will boast $3.9 billion of assets. The nine Laurel funds account for the bulk of assets - $2.6 billion - while Boston Co's 19 funds provide a diverse product line.
Mr. Mills said the merger will set the stage for a major marketing push, on both the retail and institutional fronts.
"We've spent the last year or so building infrastructure for growth," he said.
Mr. Mills declined to discuss Mellon's failed bid to acquire Dreyfus Corp., the New York-based mutual fund company, which has $85 billion of assets under administration.
A Low-Key Expansion
He said, however, that Mellon has been steadily expanding its fund business in low-profile fashion:
* On Nov. 1, Mellon acquired Capstone European Plus Fund, a $10 million-asset mutual fund that was managed by Credit Commercial de France. The assets were folded into the Laurel European Equity Fund, a new portfolio created especially for that purpose.
Credit Commercial, which operates a joint-venture investment-management firm with Mellon, will serve as the fund's subadviser.
* About two weeks ago, Mellon launched the Laurel Institutional Short-Term Bond Fund.
* By yearend, Mellon expects to pick up some $250 million in mutual fund assets by allowing employee-benefit plan customers to shift assets from collective funds to mutual funds.