GLOBAL - State Street has bought the New Jersey private equity specialist Palmeri Fund Administrators (PFA), for an undisclosed sum.

Company founder Frank J. Palmeri , who was a partner at Merrill Lynch Venture Capital before setting up PFA in 1991, will head State Street's private equity servicing initiative.

PFA had assets and funds under administration exceeding $28bn (€20.3bn) last year  and its clients included Merrill Lynch & Co, Bank of New York, UBS Warburg and Pantheon Ventures.

With the acquisition of this private equity fund administrator, State Street is adding another highly experienced team in that field following its purchase of Investors Financial Services  earlier this year.

"Similar to the reason for our entrance into the hedge fund administration space in 2002, our institutional customers are increasingly expanding their use of alternative investments including private equity," said Jay Hooley, vice chairman and head of global investment servicing and investment research and trading at State Street.

State Street now services approximately $80bn in private equity assets.

The custodian and asset manager last week reported a 20% rise in assets under custody in its half-year report as assets under custody rose to $13trn from $10.9trn in June last year.

Its asset management arm, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), also had $1.93trn in assets under management, up 26% from $1.53trn.

Elsewhere, Société Générale and Calyon signed the final agreement relative to the merger of the brokerage activities currently carried out by their respective subsidiaries, Fimat and Calyon Financial
The operational launch of the new entity Newedge is scheduled for early 2008, subject to the approval of supervisory authorities. It will be headquartered in Paris with a combined staff of around 3,000 around the world.