As head of the world’s largest custodian of financial assets, Robert Kelly is paid to be alert to buying opportunities. So it’s interesting to hear Kelly, chairman and chief executive of Bank of New York Mellon, tell reporters in Beijing that financial assets in Europe are more attractive than those in Asia and that, as a consequence, the bank is refocusing its businesses.
European financial institutions were hit harder by the global economic crisis than their global peers, and U.S. banks are in a better position to mount takeovers in Europe after going through a government-led process of consolidation and capital-raising, he said. “What you will see in coming quarters is that U.S. financial markets and banks are stronger than the European banks now,” he said.
If some European banks were to sell businesses to raise capital, BoNY would be interested in buying, he said. If timing counts for anything, Kelly’s interest has probably been piqued by Dutch bancassurer ING, which said on Monday it would split in two, transforming itself into a smaller European lender.