GLOBAL - Shareholders of Bank of New York (BoNY) and Mellon Financial Corporation have agreed the merger deal.

In a joint press release, the custodians stated "at separate meetings their respective shareholders overwhelmingly approved the proposed merger of the two companies".

The votes are still being counted but early estimates suggest the votes in favour could reach a percentage in "the high 90s," a BoNY spokesperson told IPE.

Combination of the two entities will create the largest custodian worldwide with over $18trn (€13.4trn) in asset under custody and administration as well as over $1.1trn in assets under management.

The custodians are hoping to receive regulatory approval over the next months and close the deal in the third quarter of 2007.

Robert Kelly, president, chairman and chief executive of Mellon, will serve as chief executive officer of the new company.

Thomas Renyi, currently chairman and chief executive of the Bank of New York, will become executive chairman for the first 18 months after the transaction before retiring from his position.

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation will have operations in 37 countries worldwide with a total of over 43,000 employees. 5,500 of those are in 16 European countries.