Bank of New York Co. is on the lookout for acquisition opportunities in investment management, an executive said.

The company is talking now to "smaller to medium-size firms with very similar investment styles, philosophy, and cultures in our geographic footprint," said Kevin J. Bannon, executive vice president and chief investment officer.

Such firms would be folded into Bank of New York's asset management sector, he said. The group, which manages $50 billion of assets, was formed recently to set investment management apart from related client services, such as trust. It may become a subsidiary.

Looking further ahead, Bank of New York is considering the purchase of large name-brand firms, including specialists in high-yield, real estate, and value equity, Mr. Bannon said. Such firms' brands would probably be retained, he said.

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