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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

A $1.8T-AUM Giant's Chief Passes the Reins

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The chief of a publicly traded multinational's $1.8 trillion-AUM asset management arm is preparing to pass the reins to the chief of one of its boutiques.

Hanneke Smits
Newton Investment Management
CEO, Executive Director
Yesterday, Todd Gibbons, CEO of the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon), confirmed that Mitch Harris, CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management, plans to retire on October 1. Gibbons is promoting Hanneke Smits, CEO and executive director of BNY Mellon's Newton Investment Management, to succeed Harris as CEO of BNY Mellon IM, effective October 1. (Meanwhile, Catherine Keating, CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, will now report directly to Gibbons, as will Smits.)

Mitchell E. Harris
BNY Mellon Investment Management
Retiring CEO
The BNY Mellon team also confirms that Smits will remain CEO of Newton until October 1 and that they're currently searching for a new chief for the boutique (a fundamental investing and ESG shop). A company spokesman confirms that Smits will continue to be based in London.

"[Smits] has spearheaded Newton's business momentum and client-centric culture, and we look forward to her leadership within Investment Management," Gibbons states. "Mitchell has cultivated a strong bench of leaders, including Hanneke and Catherine."

"We have made great progress in building a diversified investment portfolio to help our clients achieve their investment goals," Smits states. "We will build on this strong foundation to help our clients achieve their investment goals.

As for Harris, Gibbons lauds the retiring BNY Mellon IM chief as "instrumental in driving [the] Investment Management business over the last four years."

"During a period of tremendous change in the investment landscape, he helped reposition our multi-boutique model and launch new investment capabilities, leaving us well positioned to meet the evolving investment needs of our clients," Gibbons states.

Smits, who hails from the Netherlands and was born in 1966, is an alumna of the London Business School and of Nijenrode University. She has led Newton since 2016. Previously, she served as chief investment officer of Adams Street partners, and before that she worked at Pantheon Ventures.

Harris, who is based in New York City (BNY Mellon's hometown) and is 65, took over BNY Mellon IM as CEO back in 2016, after serving as its president and interim co-head. Before that, he led a different BNY Mellon boutique, Standish. He also worked for the City of New York, in private banking with Citi, and for Pareto Partners.

As of March 31, BNY Mellon IM's asset management business had $1.7 trillion in AUM. The wealth management business had total client assets of $236 billion (including $111 billion in AUM and $125 billion in assets under custody). Newton is one of eight BNY Mellon IM asset management boutiques. (The others are Alcentra, ARX, Dreyfus Cash Investment Strategies, Insight Investments, Mellon, Siguler Guff, and Walter Scott.) 

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