Invested: An Interview with BNY Mellon Chairman and CEO Gerald Hassell on Leadership and Social Responsibility in the Age of Global Reset
“Doing the right thing, the right way” has been part of BNY Mellon’s ethos since its inception in 1784. In this age of global reset that is transforming the nature of business and economies, it is more important than ever for financial institutions to be trustworthy. As one of the world’s leading financial services companies, BNY Mellon leverages its market leadership by acting as a catalyst for positive change.
Delving into the company’s 2013 CSR report, Invested, BNY Mellon Chairman and CEO Gerald Hassell highlights how the company’s business environment is changing and how BNY Mellon is changing with it:
How is the current business environment changing the way BNY Mellon operates?
Clearly, things have changed since before the financial crisis. We are operating in an age of global reset, in which businesses and economies are evolving to seek to prevent another financial crisis. Markets are changing as a result of several things, including the debt overhang in the U.S. and Europe, rise of middle-class consumers in emerging economies, growth of new markets, shifts in trading patterns, aging populations, and new technologies transforming the speed and transparency of financial data.
We are confident that our organization and leadership can thrive in the global reset. And we continue to strengthen key aspects of our culture and embrace new ways of thinking and operating.
• We have sharpened our focus on client needs, refining our organizational structure and approach to client interactions.
• We have invested in improving our compliance, risk and control functions, recognizing our clients and the global capital markets depend on us to be reliable and resilient, no matter the circumstances.
• We have reinforced the importance of every employee having a mindset of risk awareness and have enhanced systems for identifying and controlling risks.
• We have embraced diversity and inclusion as a means of driving innovation, improving performance and simply making us a better company.
• We are embracing regulatory and market changes and using this reset as a continuing opportunity to improve.
We are showing that we understand the world in which we operate has changed, embrace the lessons of the financial crisis and have adapted accordingly.
What major milestones did BNY Mellon achieve on the CSR front in 2013?
In September, we were named to the 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability Index — North America (DJSI), which tracks the stock performance of leading sustainability-driven businesses worldwide. The DJSI is one of the most highly regarded global sustainability indices, and our inclusion speaks to our strong commitment to being invested in market integrity, our people and our world.
We play an important role in the global financial marketplace, helping to enable the market to efficiently allocate capital by providing an infrastructure that facilitates the fluid movement of cash and securities. Our inclusion in the DJSI recognizes our ability to add value to society far beyond the transactions we process or the assets we manage.
We embrace our leadership responsibility in terms of:
• Setting standards for the industry in terms of capital strength and liquidity;
• Fostering a culture of transparent dialogue with clients, employees, shareholders and communities; and
• Structuring our business around innovation and long-term thinking.
We continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards and look for ways to increase our commitment.
What are some examples of BNY Mellon’s progress against its CSR commitments?
First, given our role in the clearing and tri-party market, we recognized our importance in solving one of the key areas of concern during and after the financial crisis. I am pleased to report that the intraday credit risks associated with the book of business where we operate as an agent have been reduced by almost 85 percent, well on the way to achieving the goal of 90 percent risk reduction by the end of 2014 as outlined by the tri-party reform task force sponsored by the Federal Reserve.
Second, we made significant progress in supporting our commitment to responsible and sustainable investing. In total, 48 percent of our assets under management are currently covered by the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), compared to 23 percent a year ago. These principles focus on long-term outcomes, with the intention of improving the balance between society’s present needs and the shrinking natural resources that will support future generations.
We also began a multiyear plan to create a world-class global training and education program for BNY Mellon employees, continued to help military personnel successfully transition to civilian life through our Returning Military program, and sustained our tradition of investing in our community.
We’ve made good progress to date, and our journey continues.
Read the full report: http://bit.ly/SomMBQ
Gerald L. Hassell is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, a global investments company dedicated to helping institutions, corporations and individual investors manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. The company can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments.
As of March 31, 2014, the company had $27.9 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.6 trillion in assets under management. It ended the first quarter of 2014 with total assets of $368 billion and a market capitalization of $40.2 billion. The company has more than 51,000 employees worldwide. BNY Mellon has consistently been ranked among America's Most Admired Companies, as compiled by Fortune magazine. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK).
Gerald has spent his entire career with BNY Mellon, beginning in The Bank of New York's management development program. He has had direct management responsibility for the company's broad range of investment services businesses, including asset servicing and issuer, broker-dealer, treasury and clearing services, as well as operations and technology. He was named to The Bank of New York's executive committee in 1994, and named president and elected to its Board of Directors in 1998. In 2011, Mr. Hassell was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BNY Mellon.
Gerald holds an MBA in finance from the New York University Stern School of Business and a BA in economics from Duke University.
Gerald is also on the Board of Directors of Comcast Corporation. Until recently he chaired the Board of Visitors of The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and now serves on the Board of Trustees of Duke University. In addition he is on the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Medical Center and the boards of the New York Philharmonic, the Economic Club of New York and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. He is also a member of The Financial Services Roundtable and Financial Services Forum and is Vice Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York.