Filippo Santilli to lead BNY MellonÆs new Asia liquidity team

The appointment is a response to AsiaÆs growing need for robust cash management solutions.

Bank of New York Mellon has appointed Filippo Santilli as its first Asia-Pacific managing director of liquidity services, bringing a much-needed service to regional finance executives who continue to demand robust liquidity management tools.

Based in Hong Kong, Santilli will oversee the expansion of the bank's liquidity offerings in Asia, particularly its Liquidity Direct portal. Launched by BNY Mellon in the US last April, Liquidity Direct is an online money market investment solution designed to enable customers to maximise cash and reduce risk.

"The fast pace of Asia's economic growth is outstripping the region's ability to effectively manage its cash," said Chris Sturdy, Asia-Pacific chairman at the bank. "Through offering BNY Mellon's liquidity services and our Liquidity Direct investment portal in Asia, local institutions now have the tools, which include a wide range of high-quality money market options as well as state-of-the-art reporting capabilities, to help them maximise cash management and minimise credit risks."

While Liquidity Direct has not been limited to US clients, Santilli's appointment is the first time BNY Mellon's liquidity division will have a presence in Asia. He reports to Jason Garwood, the bank's London-based managing director of liquidity services.

The single-portal solution is a combination of BNY Mellon's legacy MoneyFunds Direct and Liquidity Management Services previously offered by the Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Services. It is available to the bank's treasury services, asset management, issuer services and asset servicing clients.

Liquidity management solutions went from important to critical after the credit crunch in 2008. In an interview in September that year, Chris Furness, Singapore-based managing director of transaction banking at Standard Chartered Bank, said access to commercial paper was "drying up" causing the price of liquidity to go up. This price rise subsequently drove an increase in demand for internal cash management tools from finance managers last year.

Prior to joining BNY Mellon, Santilli worked as a product specialist focusing on liquidity at Lehman Brothers Asset Management. His appointment comes as BNY Mellon is in the midst of increasing its Asia-Pacific headcount by 50 people in response to greater customer demand for risk management and core banking services.

BNY Mellon is seen by many as one of the more secure banks on Wall Street. Throughout the economic turmoil it has consistently received a stable outlook by ratings agencies despite posting an operating loss of $2.44 billion in the third quarter of 2009, due to one-time investment portfolio restructuring charges. The bank maintained $22.1 trillion in assets under custody and administration, and $966 billion in assets under management at the end of September.

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