Portigon progresses in restructuring by selling WestLB Mellon stake

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Portigon, the former West LB AG, has taken another step in the post-crisis rehabilitation its chief executive has called "very painful for employees and the managing board", by selling its half-stake in WestLB Mellon Asset Management to BNY Mellon.

It said the first half of this year “laid the foundations for the restructuring of the group”.

Portigon CEO Dietrich Voigtländer described the restructuring as “a tour de force requiring a major effort on the part of all involved”.

He acknowledged the pain it had caused to the senior managers and staff, but added: “We are nevertheless looking to the future, focusing our entire efforts on positioning Portigon in the market with a clear strategic orientation. Acquiring new customers will be a top priority in the months ahead. In this connection we are already engaged in exploratory talks and initial concrete negotiations with various parties.”

As part of its deal with BNY Mellon, member of Portigon’s managing board Werner Taiber will be the new CEO of WestLB Mellon Asset Management, if German regulators agree. He will report to Harris and to Curtis Arledge, CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management.

While the deal is a reduction in activity for Portigon, for BNY Mellon it marks further expansion of a German footprint.

Mitchell Harris, president of $1.3trn manager BNY Mellon Investment Management, said the German market was “a key strategic priority” for BNY Mellon, and that Taiber brought “a deep understanding” of this market.

Taiber said WestLB Mellon Asset Management had benefited from BNY Mellon’s global distribution, “while retaining the experience of a leading German Landesbank”.

Taiber signalled expansion both domestically and in foreign lands for the group.

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