Mellon to Challenger: Our Business is Staying Together

January 18, 2006 ( - Mellon Financial Corp. on Wednesday rebuffed calls from one its largest investors to split its investment management and processing businesses to help drive up its share price.

In a firmly worded letter, Mellon Chief Executive Officer Martin McGuinn told hedge fund Highfields Capital, “We are committed to the asset management and asset servicing business and our clients understand this commitment,” Reuters reported.

McGuinn, who has led the Pittsburgh-based company since 1999, and Mellon’s board are being attacked by the Boston-based hedge fund for not acting to push up the share price to make shareholders more money in recent years.

While Mellon’s stock price climbed nearly 19% in the last year, Highfields argued that Mellon’s share price could be higher if it chose a core business on which to concentrate its efforts. Highfields stepped up the tenor of the debate last month by making its correspondence with Mellon public.

Mellon released McGuinn’s response, dated December 29, on Wednesday, several hours after reporting strong quarterly results.