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Rating:Mellon Acquires Safeco Trust Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, April 12, 2004

Mellon Acquires Safeco Trust

Reported by Theresa Sim

Mellon Financial Corporation announced Monday that it expects to close an acquisition of Safeco Trust, the private wealth management group of Safeco Corporation, within 30 days. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the deal had been in the works for six months, said Mellon spokesman Joseph F. Ailinger Jr..

Seattle-based Safeco Trust, managing over $310 million in assets as of year-end 2003, provides wealth management services to clients investing over $1 million in assets.

Mellonís Private Wealth Management group handles over $76 billion in assets, with $500 million in assets in the Northwest area.

Out of ten employees at Safeco Trust, four client-facing staff will join Mellonís Seattle office and report to Mellonís Northwest regional president, John J. Cortis, said Safeco spokesman Paul Hollie. The remaining six employees will receive severance, Hollie added.

Cortis reports to Dave Holst, National Director for the private wealth group.

The Safeco acquisition is Mellonís fifth addition to its Private Wealth Management group since 2000. Mellon acquired The Trust Company of Washington in 2000, California-based Van Deventer & Hoch in 2001, Ohio-based Weber Fulton & Felman in 2002, and Georgia-based The Arden Group in 2003.

"This partnership provides an excellent opportunity for Mellon to bring our wealth management capabilities to a new group of clients in the Pacific Northwest" said David F. Lamere, President of Mellon's Private Wealth Management group and Vice Chairman.

Mellon has no immediate plans for other acquisitions, said Ailinger.

Safeco announced it was looking for a buyer for its life insurance and investment management unit in September of 2003, in an effort to focus on its property and casualty line of business. The company announced on March 15th that it agreed to sell its life and investments operations to a group of investors led by White Mountains Insurance Group, and Berkshire Hathaway.

Safeco is not planning on any further sales of non-property and casualty lines of business, said Hollie.

Safeco was assisted by Goldman Sachs in the transaction; the company announced in September 2003 that it had retained Goldman as an advisor. 

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