Magazine article American Banker

Bank of N.Y. Asset Management Unit Gets a New Chief

Magazine article American Banker

Bank of N.Y. Asset Management Unit Gets a New Chief

Article excerpt

Asset management so far has failed to grab the limelight at Bank of New York Co., but that may change after the appointment of a new leader for the unit.

Bank of New York said Tuesday that it has hired Steven Pisarkiewicz to head BNY Asset Management. He will start his new job on Monday and will succeed Newton P.S. Merrill, who is retiring as the head of the asset management and private client services business at the end of the month.

Mr. Pisarkiewicz will join Bank of New York after 14 years at AllianceBernstein, where he has been the chief investment officer for four years. Previously he had been the managing director of its private client and institutional asset management businesses.

Analysts say what looks like a simple changing of the guard could signal that Bank of New York is putting more emphasis on its asset management business, which currently generates 10% of its revenue.

Gerard S. Cassidy of Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Capital Markets said that it is not unusual for an asset management firm to change its top executives in a bear market, in part to signal to would-be investors that it is bringing in fresh ideas.

However, Bank of New York's change could reflect a more strategic "change in thinking," he said.

Thomas D. McCandless of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. echoed that assessment. Though the timing coincides with a retirement, Bank of New York could be using the chance to "bolster those operations" and make asset management a bigger piece of the overall earnings pie, he said.

A Bank of New York spokesman said he did not want to discuss any strategic implications of the appointment. However, Mr. Merrill said in an interview that Bank of New York is determined to further build the business.

Nine years ago he was given the task of assembling an asset management unit. …

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