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Mellon Buys Cleveland Manager, Adding $800 Million to Assets

Mellon Financial Corp. will acquire Weber Fulton & Felman, an investment management firm based in Cleveland that specializes in the high-net-worth, not-for-profit and retirement markets. The firm has approximately $800 million in assets under management and administration.

This is the third acquisition that Mellon's Private Wealth Management group has made since late 2000. Mellon acquired Trust Co. of Washington in November of 2000 and Van Deventer & Hoch in September 2001.

"This new acquisition signals one more step in our strategy to invest in high growth, fee-based businesses and complements the strong organic growth Mellon has achieved in its asset management business," said Martin McGuinn, Mellon chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Mellon will continue looking to acquire other asset management firms specializing in fee-based, high-net-worth business, said Joe Ailinger, a Mellon spokesman. "We're going to continue to look at opportunities to present themselves as part of the strategy to grow the fee-based asset management business," he said.

Mellon, which operates 60 national branches, first targeted the Cleveland market two years ago when it opened an office there. In total, the Private Wealth Management group has $70 billion in assets under management and administration.

Weber Fulton & Felman currently has 23 employees in its Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio, and Paducah, Ky., offices. For now, Mellon does not anticipate job cuts resulting from the integration, Ailinger said. "We've had several integrations in the past few years that have allowed for continued growth, so it's premature to speculate at this point," he said.