GLOBAL – Mellon Financial Corp. has named Wachovia’s chief financial officer Bob Kelly as its new chairman, president and chief executive to replace incumbent Martin McGuinn.

McGuinn, 63, will retire when Kelly joins on February 13. Kelly, 51, will relocate to Pittsburgh from Wachovia’s base in Charlotte, North Carolina.

McGuinn’s departure comes after reports last year that Mellon was under pressure from investors to maximize value and that it had had exploratory talks with rivals such as State Street and Northern Trust.

The Mellon announcement alludes to Kelly’s skill at managing growth, including acquisitions.

It quoted board member Wes von Schack as saying: “He has a tremendous background of focusing on strategy, operational excellence and growth, both organically and via acquisition.”

Earlier this month Mellon combined its retail mutual fund arm Dreyfus with its institutional asset management business under vice chairman Ronald O’Hanley. The new organization is called Mellon Asset Management.

And earlier this month it reported that fourth-quarter earnings rose 8.3% to $208m on revenue of $1.23bn.

Mellon thanked McGuinn for “his stewardship of the company as he transformed Mellon into one of the leading asset management and payments and securities services companies in the world”.

“I am honoured to join Mellon, an institution with more than 135 years of experience in the financial services industry and a well-deserved sterling reputation,” Kelly said.

He added: “I look forward to working with the employees at Mellon to create superior long-term shareholder value.”

“Bob Kelly has a proven track record and will hit the ground running,'' said McGuinn. “As such, there is no need for a transition process.''

Wachovia named Thomas Wurtz as Kelly’s replacement.