Monday, December 4, 2006

This Can't Be Good News

As reported early this morning in the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review, Mellon Financial Corporation has announced that it is being purchased by Bank of New York. Anyone want to make any bets about where the combined new company, to be called "Bank of New York Mellon Corporation" will have its corporate Headquarters? This certainly won't be a good development for Western Pennsylvania. Along with the thousands of people who work directly for Mellon, there are a huge number of companies and people here in Pittsburgh who provide services to the jolly green giant.

We'll have to wait for all the details to shake out, of course, but job losses seem inescapable from this deal. I say this despite the laughable claims by Mellon CEO Robert P. Kelly, who (according to the Post-Gazette's story),

vowed that... Mellon will continue to be highly involved in the region and could even see employment grow by several thousand over time as a result of the merger.

'Pittsburgh will continue to be home to several key business units, which will become even larger in the combined organization,' Mr. Kelly said, adding that he envisions Pittsburgh being 'a center of excellence for technology, operations and administration. Our goal is to create 1,000 to 2,000 new jobs in Pittsburgh as a result of this transaction, and continue to add jobs here as the combined company grows.'
Let's not insult anyone's intelligence here, Mr. Kelly. All of the Mellon executives are moving to New York. All of the legal work is moving to the New York. All of the accounting, auditing, and financial reporting is moving to New York. There may very well be some functions that remain here in Pittsburgh, and there will continue to be Mellon workers (and some members of their supporting cast) employed here. But all of the high-end stuff is gone. And that's a very, very big loss for our region.

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