Mellon Financial Corporation, announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to form a joint venture with WestLB AG to establish an asset management business.

The money management firm will combine WestLB's main asset management activities with Mellon's German asset management activities.

The joint venture, which will launch with 220 employees and $49 billion in assets under management, will operate consistently with 10 of Mellon's already operational institutional investment subsidiaries, and with Mellon's distinct investment philosophy and strategies. The particulars of the venture will be decided in the coming months, the firms said in a press release.

"Consistent with our strategy, this partnership enables WestLB to focus on its client and distribution strengths and Mellon to leverage its recognized asset management product strengths," said Ron O'Hanley, vice-chairman of Mellon Financial. "For Mellon this is a great opportunity to establish a presence in Germany - which is a strategic priority for us - and to accelerate our growth in France. In addition, the company will add high-quality investment products to our range."

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