The problem with BNY Mellon: It wears blinders
Bank of New York Mellon, the merged banking giant that abandoned Pittsburgh as its headquarters nearly a decade ago for the bright lights of being where the action is in New York City, need not feign surprise that it is under increasing fire from some shareholders for what they consider to be questionable governance and performance. After all, it was foretold in BNY Mellon's behavior toward its customers.
The fusillade went quite public on Tuesday at the trust and custody behemoth's annual meeting in the Big Apple. Not only is there discontent that nothing less than a corporate autocracy — top dog Gerald Hassell is both chairman and CEO — is damaging BNY Mellon's brand, there's growing concern that, as the Trib's John Oravecz reported Wednesday, it is “lagging behind competitors attracting retail investors to investment products.”
The phrase “wearing blinders” comes to mind. And it has been a long time in development. Think of how the company abandoned the kind of retail banking once so vital to the fabric of communities. Think, too, of how BNY Mellon (by the way, now under federal order to beef up its capital assets) even has shuttered many of its wealth management offices that clients can physically visit. The impression that the few benefit at the expense of the many — and the greater good — looms large.
BNY Mellon, the world's eighth-largest asset manager, will defend its management by citing its profits and noting that more than 78 percent of shareholders this week rejected splitting the chairman-CEO jobs. But while it might have won this battle, the prospects of losing the wider war loom equally large.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.