EUROPE – ABN Amro Mellon, the securities services joint venture between the Dutch bank and Mellon Financial Corp., has gained $6bn in assets under custody in the last quarter.

Mellon said the assets of the 50-50 venture, ABN Amro Mellon Global Securities Services, have risen to $428bn at the end of the first quarter - from $422bn at the end of last year and $312bn a year ago.

Total assets under custody at Mellon itself rose 17% to $3.3trn from $2.8trn a year ago. The Pittsburgh-based firm said its assets under management rose seven percent to $729bn.

It said its first-quarter net income rose to $305m from $247m.

"In the first quarter we were able to demonstrate strong net flows in our institutional asset management businesses, a strong quarter for private wealth management, increased client volumes in securities lending and foreign exchange and significant wins in asset servicing,” said chairman and chief executive Martin McGuinn.

McGuinn added that the sales of its human resources business, announced in March, would sharpen its focus on “those businesses that are demonstrating more consistent growth at higher margins”.

Elsewhere, rival firm Northern Trust said assets under custody rose 18% to $2.6trn in the quarter. Assets under management were up 13% at $589bn. Net income increased nine percent to 139.1m.

Earlier this month Northern Trust Global Investments launched its first pooled Enhanced Equity Index fund in Europe aimed principally at UK and European institutional investors.