Mellon Financial Corp. announced this week it will buy a Rhode Island investment firm, making it the private wealth management group's third acquisition this summer and seventh in four years as part of a national expansion.

Craig R. Sutherland, the private wealth group's national director, said it must continue to enter markets where it currently lacks a presence. The private wealth unit has $75 billion of assets under management and 60 offices, in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Mellon's agreement to buy the privately held Providence Group Investment Advisory Co . in Providence, R.I., would give it its first Rhode Island office. The deal would add about $750 million of client assets.

"Other markets are becoming fewer and fewer because we have established a presence in the East, the Northeast, the West and the South, but when we look in the middle of the county there are some attractive regions," Sutherland said. "Chicago and Texas are high priorities – if we find the right marriage of circumstance – because the demographics are very attractive there."

Sutherland also said there are attractive "sleeper" regions like Detroit that have been relatively ignored by most private wealth managers.

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