Mellon Financial Corp. is preparing to introduce its own merchant banking unit to invest in budding e-commerce projects developed within the company, by outside entrepreneurs, or by a combination of the two.

Mellon Ventures is expected to be substantially similar to initiatives at other banking companies this year. In March, for example, J.P. Morgan & Co. unveiled a strategy to invest $1 billion in e-commerce projects identified and nurtured within its own Internet incubator, LabMorgan.

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