Mellon Bank Corp. vice chairman Christopher M. "Kip" Condron is not ready to put away his passport-not just yet.
Mr. Condron, who also holds the title of president at Dreyfus Corp., the Pittsburgh banking company's fund subsidiary, said last week that Dreyfus is looking to establish a money management presence in Europe.
"We will do something in Europe," Mr. Condron said.
An announcement of either an acquisition or a joint venture with a European counterpart could come by the middle of next month, he said.
A European venture would round out several international asset management ventures formed by Mellon in recent months. Mellon's odyssey has taken the bank to Latin America, where it has joint ventures in Chile and Brazil, and to Asia, where it has partnered with institutions in Japan and Hong Kong.
Once a European deal is announced, Mellon will put its mind to making its ventures pay off, Mr. Condron said. But it will not refuse additional international opportunities if they come along.
"We are pretty comfortable that we are in the places that we want to be, and we will begin to really focus on the execution of our strategy in each of those countries," Mr. Condron said.
The underlying strategy behind all of Mellon's foreign forays is to make sure that the bank is ready to capture investors in countries that are experiencing an asset management boom, Mr. Condron said.
The banking industry was not prepared to take advantage of similar opportunities in the U.S., he said.
"In the states, the personal investment business was an opportunity that the banks could have captured, but the mutual fund companies actually captured the wallets of the bank's customers," Mr. Condron said.
"We want to make sure that we don't lose this opportunity to these aggressive mutual fund companies," he added.
Mellon wants to apply Dreyfus' "asset management manufacturing capabilities" and technology to partnerships with institutions and distribution networks already in place, Mr. Condron said.
"The growth potential is obvious to those who are paying attention," he said.
In Brazil, Mellon is getting involved in the separate account business. In Chile, it is pursuing the mutual fund business, he said. Dreyfus recently rolled out a dollar-denominated money market fund that is registered in Dublin and distributed in Chile.
And about two weeks ago Dreyfus introduced a fund in Japan that is distributed through Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, with Dreyfus acting as a subadviser.
Meanwhile, as part of its alliance with Hamon Investment Group in Hong Kong, the bank plans to launch the Dreyfus Greater China Fund. The fund will be sold in the United States and subadvised by Hamon.