BNY Mellon, State Street reportedly set to open new Korean office to align with $570 billion pension fund

Both banks signed a global custody mandate with Korea's NPS last year, which the pension fund hopes the banks can help it tap deeper into new asset classes.

By Joe Parsons

BNY Mellon and State Street are planning to each open a new office in Jeonju, a southern Korean city home to the world’s third largest pension fund, according to reports.

A local Korean publication stated BNY Mellon’s CEO and chairman, Charles Scharf, and David Cruikshank, BNY Mellon’s Asia-Pacific chairman, will visit the headquarters of the National Pension Service (NPS) on 24 January to sign an agreement to open the bank’s new office in the city.

State Street are also reportedly planning to open an office in Jeonju in March.

“We are committed to providing local support to NPS in Korea.  As NPS’ overseas asset allocation grows rapidly, we see opportunities to expand our resources in Jeonju,” said a spokesperson for State Street.

A spokesperson for BNY Mellon could not confirm the meeting, but stated “we will continue to look for opportunities [in Korea] to meet the changing and growing needs of our clients.”

Korea’s NPS is the largest institutional investor in the country with $570 billion in assets under management.

Both banks have an office in Seoul, but the potential move will be the first time a global bank with a worldwide network will open an operation outside of the capital.

Last year, NPS awarded BNY Mellon a global custody mandate for its fixed income portfolio, while just a month later, signed a contract with State Street to outsource its middle-office to the Boston-based bank for the first time. The contract also included the re-appointment of State Street as NPS’s global custodian and fund administrator for their global equity portfolio.

State Street has been a global custody, fund accounting, performance and analytics, and securities lending provider since 2013, and the mandate extended this partnership for another three years.

The report stated NPS hopes the two global custodian’s new offices in Jeonju will help it tap deeper into new asset classes and other parts of the globe.