BNY Mellon chief steps down
BNY Mellon (BK) CEO Robert Kelly stepped down Wednesday, citing differences with the board of directors over how to manage the company. BNY Mellon named Gerald Hassell, a board member and president of the investment giant, as Kelly's replacement. "Gerald is ideally positioned to guide BNY Mellon through the next phase of its growth and to bring it to its full potential," said Wesley von Schack, lead director of BNY Mellon. Kelly served as CEO of Mellon Financial Corp. before its merger with the Bank of New York Co. in 2007. He previously served as chief financial officer of Wachovia Bank. "It has been an honor to serve BNY Mellon, its management team and its employees during the past four years," Kelly said. "We have navigated tremendously difficult markets and built one of the world’s premier financial institutions. I am confident that under Gerald’s leadership of the firm’s strong management team, BNY Mellon will continue to flourish going forward." Hassell joined the company more than 30 years ago. He was named president and elected to the board of directors in 1998. BNY Mellon pushed earnings higher in the second quarter after raising holding fees on its clients. However, legal and regulatory costs continued to mount, specifically around the $8.5 billion settlement with Bank of America (BAC). BNY Mellon served as trustee for the securities, and according to several filings from investors and the New York attorney general, it allegedly entered into the agreement without proper consultation. A bank spokesman said the differences between Kelly and the board did not stem from the BofA settlement. About Kelly, von Schack said he played a key role in the merger and helped navigate the firm through the financial crisis. He added Hassell led nearly every division at the bank and holds long-standing relationships with investment management clients. "I am pleased to accept these new roles and am excited about the strong growth prospects for our company," Hassell said. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.