The New York-based banking group has said previously that it would look to build its business in the region, where it saw significant growth potential.
The company announced the Singapore licence and the launch of the Tokyo capital markets business over the past two days.
The capital markets licence, which was approved on Monday by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, permits BNY Mellon’s Singapore-based investment management offices to offer clients in the region a range of investment management opportunities, including research, portfolio management and market and sales of collective investment schemes. Until now, the offices had been responsible for research operations.
The new licence will help BNY Mellon Investment Management Singapore to “expand its existing institutional business in Singapore and strengthen its footprint in Southeast Asia”, as well as enabling it to begin building local manufacturing capabilities, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Wendy Lim, managing director and regional head of business development and marketing for BNY Mellon Investment Management Asia Pacific, has been appointed chief executive of the new company. She will report to her current boss, Alan Harden, chief executive for BNY Mellon’s Asia Pacific investment management business, and will retain her regional responsibilities, BNY Mellon said.
Separately, in another announcement released today, the bank said it had set up a capital markets business in Tokyo to provide dealing services on an agency basis across a broad range of fixed income and equity services for institutional clients in Japan as well as in other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The company said it has added a nine-member team of broker-dealer and capital markets specialists to its existing foreign exchange services capabilities in Tokyo, which is being led by Eiichiro “Eric” Masaki, who has been named head of Japan capital markets sales. He in turn reports to Kazuma Yamashita, head of Japan global market sales.
Masaki joins BNY Mellon from Societe Generale, where he was head of non-yen fixed income flow sales.
In April, International Adviser reported the hiring by BNY Mellon’s Tokyo office of a six-strong Japanese equities team from ING Investment Management. Harden noted at that time that the hiring came as BNY Mellon was "aggressively growing our investment management business across Asia-Pacific and Japan".
BNY Mellon’s Asia ambitions were further detailed a few months later in an article in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, which noted that although the bank currently has most of its assets in the US, it was looking to increase the amount of revenue it gets from Asia.
The article quoted BNY Mellon president Karen Peetz as saying that US banks generally would “‘inevitably’ come back to Asia to invest, because they must find additional profit”, and that for this reason, Asia’s markets are particularly attractive to them, both for macroeconomic reasons as well as because of the growing wealth of individuals in many Southeast Asian countries.
It also quoted Stephen Lackey, the Asia-Pacific chairman of BNY Mellon, as saying that 6.5% of the bank’s revenue was coming from Asia now, compared with 4.5% five years ago, and that “it would be wonderful” if this figure could be raised to 9% to 10%.
BNY Mellon has had a presence in Singapore for almost 40 years, and currently employs more than 450 people in the city. Globally, the company has some $1.5trn in assets under management. Of these, more than $94bn come from the Asia-Pacific region.