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BNY Mellon Wealth Management Review

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by Becca Stanek Updated
BNY Mellon Wealth Management

BNY Mellon Wealth Management is a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. The firm's roots date back to 1784, when Alexander Hamilton played a key role in founding The Bank of New York, the oldest U.S. private bank, shortly after the Revolutionary War. BNY Mellon Wealth Management currently has $238 billion in private client assets under its management.

BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s team of financial advisors work with individuals, families and institutions across the globe. It provides its clients with services ranging from investment management and wealth planning to private banking and credit and lending services. Though the firm does not have a specified account minimum, it does require a minimum annual fee ranging from $25,000 to $250,000.

BNY Mellon Wealth Management Background

BNY Mellon assumed its current name in 2007, when The Bank of New York  Company, Inc. and Mellon Financial Corporation merged. As previously mentioned, The Bank of New York dates back to 1784. Alexander Hamilton wrote the bank's constitution and served as one of the bank's directors. BNY Mellon Wealth Management also claims to be among the first firms to create a dedicated family office business.

What Types of Clients Does BNY Mellon Wealth Management Accept?

BNY Mellon Wealth Management works with individuals and families, family offices, non-profit organizations and pensions. Additionally, the firm provides services to advisors who serve individuals and families.

When it comes to individuals, BNY Mellon Wealth Management says that it specializes in "meeting the complex investment and banking needs of wealthy individuals and their families." Because BNY Mellon generally requires a minimum annual fee of at least $25,000, many of its investment strategies may be out of reach for lower-level investors. 

BNY Mellon Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes

BNY Mellon Wealth Management does not specify minimum account sizes, but it does typically charge a minimum annual fee for its investment advisory services. Its minimum fee for its separately managed accounts ranges from $25,000 to $250,000, and varies depending on the investing strategy used.

Services Offered by BNY Mellon Wealth Management

BNY Mellon Wealth Management offers a notably extensive array of services, many of which are made possible because of it’s part of a larger global banking and financial services company. Though its exact services available vary somewhat by client type, the firm is capable of the following:

  • Asset servicing and information management
  • Credit and lending services
  • Defined Benefit Plan Services
  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Endowment and foundation services
  • Escrow services
  • Family office investment solutions
  • Fiduciary services
  • Investment management
  • Jumbo mortgages
  • Philanthropy
  • Planned giving services
  • Private banking
  • Self-directed investment services
  • Wealth and estate planning

The firm offers its investment advisory services through separate accounts as well as pooled investment vehicles. Each client at BNY  Wealth Management is served by a dedicated team and has access to experts on topics including wealth and estate planning, investment management, private banking, asset servicing and specialized financial guidance.

BNY Mellon Accounts for High-Net-Worth Individuals

BNY Mellon claims it’s gained extensive experience solving wealth challenges throughout more than two centuries of working with high-net-worth clients. The firm says it helps its wealthy clients make their goals and visions a reality by "coordinating the right strategy, resources and support" through wealth and estate planning.

It offers a number of services directed at wealthy clients, including:

  • Wealth protections and transfer
  • Tax planning
  • Concentrated wealth solutions
  • Insurance and risk management solutions
  • Estate settlement and administration
  • Family governance

Investment Philosophy

BNY Mellon Wealth Management offers a variety of investment strategies. Each client's portfolio is built according to a model portfolio that's based off of one of those strategies. Though BNY Mellon does use model portfolios, it says that it will still tailor its services according to clients' objectives and investment guidelines. 

In addition to model portfolios, BNY Mellon also offers investment advisory services through pooled investment vehicles, which have set investment objectives and guidelines. Therefore, these cannot be tailored to clients' unique needs.

BNY Mellon says that it strives to deliver "enhanced after-tax, total portfolio returns while minimizing risk." It emphasizes strategic asset allocation and architecture and objective-driven management. 

Fees Under BNY Mellon Wealth Management

BNY Mellon generally charges clients a percentage of their assets under management for its investment advisory separate account services. However, the firm generally requires a minimum annual fee that ranges from $25,000 to $250,000, and will vary depending on which strategy is employed.

Active Equity Product Line
Investment Strategy Annual Fee Range
Global Equity 0.25% - 0.80%
Global Research 0.25% - 1.00%
Large Cap Value 0.60% - 1.00%
Small Cap Growth 0.75% - 1.00%
Small Cap Value 0.60% - 1.00%
Opportunistic Value 0.65% - 0.85%

 

Index Product Line
Investment Strategy Annual Fee Range
U.S. Equity Indexing 0.04% - 0.07%
DT Indexing 0.10% - 0.15%
International Equity Indexing 0.06% - 0.25%
Global Equity Indexing 0.09%
Fixed Income Indexing 0.03% - 0.22%

 

Multi-Asset and Multi-Factor Equity and Fixed Income Product Line
Investment Strategy Annual Fee Range
Global Asset Allocation 0.80% - 1.60% (based on active risk target of 10%)
Domestic Asset Allocation 0.35%
Alternative Investments - Global Macro 1.25% - 1.50%
Alternative Investments - Global Multi-Strategy 1.00% - 1.50% 
Alternative Investments - Commodities 1.25%
Active Commodity 0.90%
Multi-Factor Fixed Income 0.07% - 0.50%
Multi-Factor Equity 0.25% - 0.80%
Strategic Beta (Equity) 0.15% - 0.40%
Strategic Beta (Fixed Income) 0.15% - 0.20%

 

Active Fixed Income Product Line
Investment Strategy Annual Fee Range
Multi-Sector Fixed Income 0.10% - 0.50%
Municipal Bond 0.15% - 0.40%
Stable Value 0.20%


In addition to these fees, clients may also pay custody, brokerage and other transaction costs, administrative fees and other expenses. BNY also collects performance-based fees for certain account types and funds, when that account outperforms a specified benchmark.

BNY Mellon Wealth Management Awards and Recognition

BNY Mellon has won a few notable awards over the last year. In 2017, Barron's ranked BNY Mellon among the top 10 U.S. wealth managers. The firm was also named a global winner for the best private bank for intergenerational wealth management by Global Finance Magazine in 2018. BNY Mellon also won an award for its banking services, as it was named the best private bank in the U.S. for customer service by the Global Private Banking Awards.

What to Watch Out For

Because BNY Mellon generally requires a minimum annual fee of at least $25,000, many of its investment strategies are out of reach for lower-level investors. Though BNY Mellon Wealth Management notes that asset levels do impact a client's fee rate, the firm does not list specific fee breakpoints like many of its close competitors do. Instead of offering a fee rate for each level of assets under management, BNY Mellon Wealth Management simply offers clients a potential fee range.

Additionally, BNY Mellon does charge performance-based fees for certain accounts or funds. These fees are based on a portfolio's net return in excess of a specified benchmark or hurdle rate during a specified period of time, or they may be based on absolute return strategies. Also note that certain BNY Mellon employees earn commissions from selling securities, which may create a potential conflict of interest.

BNY Mellon does have disclosures - see more below. 

Disclosures

As is the case with many of its close competitors, BNY Mellon Wealth Management has disclosures. However, many of these disclosures are attributed to The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation as a whole.

Most recently, in 2017, BNY Mellon agreed to pay $6.6 million to settle charges that it hadn't properly handled collateralized loan obligation assets. In 2015, in perhaps the company’s most high-profile settlement, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation paid $14 million to settle U.S. civil charges that it had violated federal bribery laws by giving internships to family members of officials linked to a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.

Opening an Account With BNY Mellon Wealth Management

To find out if there is a nearby BNY Mellon Wealth Management office, simply go to the firm’s website and pull up the list of office locations, which is searchable by zip code. BNY Mellon provides two ways to get in touch. You can speak with a wealth management professional by calling the firm's general inquiry number, (877) 385-9899. Or, you can can write BNY Mellon a message and provide the firm with your contact information, including your first and last name, email address, phone number, city and state.

Clients are generally required to complete a written investment management agreement. Once you  become a client, you can first expect to discuss your goals and work closely with an advisor to determine your objectives and expectations. From there you'll explore the proper asset allocation for your portfolio based on your goals and risk tolerance. After each part of your portfolio is analyzed, a plan will be created and implemented, should you approve it. Once in place, a team will actively manage your portfolio, routinely revisiting your goals, searching for new opportunities and rebalancing when appropriate.

Where Is BNY Mellon Wealth Management Located?

BNY Mellon Wealth Management is headquartered in downtown Boston, near the Boston Common. However, the firm has offices across the U.S., including in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey,  New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington. It also has international offices, with locations in Grand Cayman, Hong Kong, London and Toronto.

Tips for Choosing a Financial Advisor

  • Consider your own goals and needs before you begin the search. Are you looking for a someone to help you make investment choices or are you more focused on getting ready for retirement? You should choose an advisor who has relevant experience and certifications.
  • Get some guidance in the search, either from friends’ and family members’ recommendations or through a financial advisor matching tool like SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor. With SmartAdvisor, you’ll be paired with up to three registered investment advisors based on your responses to a questionnaire about your financial situation, goals and preferences.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about cost of living in retirement there.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research