In a major coup for the ABN AMRO Mellon custody operations globally, multinational giant 3M has appointed the group to provide master trust and custody services for most of the group’s defined benefits pension plans world-wide. This covers some $1.5bn in assets of schemes in 15 countries out side the US, where Mellon Trust acts as trustee for 3M’s pensions assets of $7bn.
The aim is to establish a multinational approach integrating 3M’s worldwide pensions assets, providing global custody, consolidated accounting, performance measurement and analytics and reporting to the group’s home office in St Paul’s, Minnesota. It will cover European funds located in Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, and in 10 other countries, including the US.
Nadine Chakar, managing director of ABN AMRO Mellon, acknowledges that while the “multinational solution” was not unknown in custody, she claims “the volume of business and the number of markets involved makes this mandate unique in our industry”.
Simon Shapland, regional sales and marketing manager for the custodian in Europe, says “it is common for multinationals to cover the two or three big funded schemes outside the US, such as in Canada, the UK and the Netherlands. It is this breadth of bringing in the 41 markets 3Ms has operations in which is different.”
He adds the thinking behind this mandate was to put the common reporting place before addressing of the issues involved in asset management, so the group can understand the dynamics of what is happening within the local operations.
The bid for the 3M project was put into the market. “We like to think the Mellon relationship of the past decade, helped our position with 3Ms”, says Shapland.
The time scale for implementation is to start in Europe and then move to the Far East and Latin America. “The first phase is for five months for the planning process and so on. And we are finalising the detailed plans.”
This award goes to the core of the joint venture set up by ABN AMRO and Mellon in 1998, he says. “It is the combination of the master custody technology with the scale of operations of ABN AMRO as an institution. This is very much the type of client we are targeting.”
The 3M programme will by run through Mellon’s ‘Executive Workbench’ products and be supported and serviced by dedicated teams in Amsterdam, London, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Toronto. Chakar adds that the discussion with 3M showed that “there is a growing need for the home office plan sponsor to have online, timely access to information on their world-wide pension plan assets”. Fennell Betson