its name sometime in the fourth quarter and operate as Mellon Financial Corp.
Martin G. McGuinn, chairman and chief executive officer of the $49 billion-asset Pittsburgh company, said the name change reflects "our evolution."
Mellon has been gradually transforming itself from a traditional commercial bank into an investment services company, and this year management has accelerated that trend by divesting three slow-growing businesses, including mortgage servicing, credit cards, and transaction processing.
"We are developing a plan" to boost earnings per share by 14% or more annually over three years, Mr. McGuinn said in a telephone interview Tuesday. Mellon's earnings have been growing at a 12% to 14% annual rate.
"We have sharpened our strategic focus," he said, adding that the company "will continue to emphasize high-growth businesses."
"We're trying to build on the success we've had in the past, but we (still) have a lot of work to do," Mr. McGuinn said.
Mr. McGuinn also said he would seek the board's approval to buy back 25 million shares on top of the 20 million bought back by the company since January. Stock buybacks are popular with Wall Street and investors because they help bolster earnings per share. At the end of June, Mellon had 514 million shares outstanding.
Analysts said Mr. McGuinn has been putting his own stamp on the 130-year-old institution since taking over for the retired Frank V. Cahouet in January. Since then, "more capital has been deployed to growth areas more aggressively," said Michael Mayo, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston.
"The new management is very focused on the growth side," said Joseph Duwan, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.
Mellon's mix of earnings comes increasingly from fee-based businesses. The company is already among the largest providers of custody and asset management services, with $2 trillion of assets under administration and $465 billion of assets under management.
The transformation has come through a series of high-profile acquisitions, including the 1993 purchase of Boston Co., which bolstered Mellon's presence in custody and private client services, and the 1994 deal for Dreyfus Corp., which instantly made the company the nation's largest bank manager of retail mutual funds.
In the interview, Mr. McGuinn said he would continue to build asset management, trust, and custody operations through a combination of internal investment, acquisitions, and joint ventures.
And Mellon has been paring back businesses that have shown slower growth. In January, Mellon put its mortgage, credit card, and transaction processing operations up for sale.
Citibank, a unit of New York-based Citigroup Inc., bought the $1.9 billion card portfolio in March. In May, U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis bought the transaction processing unit Mellon Network Services. And in August, Chase Manhattan Corp. said it would buy the $55 billion mortgage servicing portfolio.
Adam Filippo & Associates, a Pittsburgh-based consulting company, assisted the company in its name change, a spokesman said.