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CEO Of BNY Mellon Addresses Financial Job Market

Heights Editor

Published: Sunday, December 4, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon, a custodian bank, will continue to be a large employer of those in Boston's financial sector in coming years, despite turbulence in the markets that the company's CEO attributes to overactive rumor mills and excessive regulations.

In his remarks last Tuesday to the Chief Executives Club of Boston College, Gerald Hassell, chief executive officer of BNY Mellon, addressed the bank's plans to expand their employee base in the Boston area, regardless of the company's announcement of a major round of consolidations on Nov. 14.

Hassell said that they would continue to expand their presence in Boston, though growth over the next few years would be slow. Since 2007, BNY Mellon has added over 1,000 employees in the Boston area, mainly in the fields of wealth management, institutional asset management and other financial services.

With regard to the regulation of the markets, Hassell said that regulatory agencies should "hit the pause button" on the formation of new rules and, instead, work for solutions within the regulations already in existence, such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

Hassell also called for a stop to the financial rumor mills, saying that such rumors are often ill informed and cause investors and traders to act on instantaneous fear, therefore creating for a volatile marketplace and a continuation of the bleak picture that is the current U.S. economy.

"Rumors undermine markets," he said.

Given a fragile, sluggish economy on the precipice of a double-dip recession, continuing to undermine consumer confidence will only further cripple much needed liquidity in the markets, Hassell said. He also attributed uncertainty in the European markets to continued problems.

"Confidence is everything," he said. "The market is spooked and looking for their next victim." He cited the "breathtaking" rate at which MF Global collapsed in late October as an example of the devastating effect of rumors and market panic.

However, Hassell did state that, currently, large U.S. corporations and banks are relatively in much better shape than they were at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

With regard to the allegations of overcharging on currency trades that BNY Mellon faced in Virginia, Hassell stated that they were encouraged by a Virginia judge's ruling that two out of the three charges should be dismissed. "We were encouraged by the judge's ruling," he said. "We certainly felt good with the outcome on those two issues."

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