GERMANY - ABN Amro Mellon Global Securities Services has opened an office in Frankfurt and hired Michelle Grundmann from Merrill Lynch Investment Managers to run it.

The company, a 50-50 joint venture between ABN Amro and Mellon Financial, said in a statement that it has launched Depotbank capabilities from the new branch.

The moved aims to "capitalise on changing market infrastructure and pension fund reforms in Germany, with a specialised offer of Global Custody and full Depotbank services, for Spezialfonds and direct investors".

The new Depotbank functionality will also focus on the servicing of KAGs, Kapitalanlagegesellschaften. ABN Amro Mellon would convert an initial 31 funds, comprising two billion euros in assets under custody.

It also said that Michelle Grundmann would run the new branch. She was previously chief operating officer of the MLIM KAG. "ABN Amro Mellon is opening a branch at an ideal time in which to seize new opportunities in the German market," Grundmann said.

"We are primed for solid and sustained growth, now that barriers to foreign asset managers have been eliminated and German investment law has been liberalised."

Nadine Chakar, chief executive of ABN Amro Mellon, said: "ABN Amro Mellon is well positioned as a true European alternative for institutional investors domiciled in Germany and for Multinational investors investing in the German market."