Robert P. Kelly
chairman & ceo, mellon financial corporation
Hub may see fewer Mellon job losses
A smaller percentage of Mellon Financial Corp.'s 2,600 Boston-area jobs will be cut after the company's sale to bank of New York Co. than in other regions, chief executive Robert P. Kelly said yesterday.
The New York bank and Mellon, of Pittsburg, had said that about 10 percent of their combined 40,000 jobs would be eliminated, mostly through attrition.
The two financial services giants are combining in a $16.5 billion deal.
Kelly said the percentage of lost jobs would be "materially" smaller among Mellon's Massachusetts employees, who provide private wealth- and asset-management services.
"That reduction in this town is goign to be way less" than the 10 percent companywide figure, Kelly said, speaking at a luncheon at Boston Harbor Hotel sponsored by the Boston College Chief Executives' Club.
During his remarks and speaking with reporters afterward, Kelly said he could not give a precise percentage of jobs to be eliminated in Massachusetts. But overall, he said, the company expects to expand here, and local units should benefit from the company's growth in China and other countries.
As far as local executives' hiring more workers, "I know we're not constraining them," Kelly said.
Kelly will become chief executive of the merged corporation, assuming shareholders and regulators approve the deal. Shareholder meetings of both companies are scheduled for may 24 to consider the merger.
Separately, Russia's customs service yesterday filed papers seeking $22.5 billion in damages from Bank of New York over alleged money-laundering violations in the 1990s, news wires reported.
Bank of New York said in a prepared statement that it had not seen the suit but said it's likely that it is "totally without merit."
Kelly said he could not discuss the case, except to say he was aware fo the Russian investigation during Mellon's due-diligence reviews of the proposed merger. Kelly added that, given the upcoming shareholder votes, the Russian authorities' timing is "interesting."
And while Kelly doesn't know if the Russians intend to try to disrupt the merger, "I find it curious," he said.
Article by Ross Kerber
Friday, May 18, 2007