BNY Mellon has opened its first wealth management office in the Cayman Islands as part of an effort to expand the firm’s global capabilities to serve international clients, the wealth manager announced Wednesday.

The firm has always had international clients in the Cayman Islands but for the past 30 years they were served through local accounting firms and other local business partners, Peter Moertl, a managing director in BNY Mellon’s International Wealth Management group, said in an interview. Client demand warranted a greater presence in the country, he said.

“We reached a scale where it was appropriate to have our own operation,” added Myriam Soto, another managing director in the group.

The new office boosts BNY Mellon’s efforts to expand its presence internationally. In addition to the Cayman Islands, the firm has offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.  It also established a presence in Toronto with the purchase of i3Wealth Advisors, a wealth management boutique, in September of 2010. 

“We’re very interested in expanding into regions of the world that have interesting and dynamic aspects of wealth management,” Don Herberle, head of Family Wealth and International Businesses, said in an interview.

In particular, the firm is excited about opportunities in Canada and is actively looking in Brazil and other Latin American countries, Herberle said.  In addition, it plans to expand in the Asia Pacific region, where it already has “folks on the ground in Hong Kong.”  The firm is also broadening its practice in London, which is primarily based on advising family offices in the U.K., Herberle said. 

The new office in the Cayman Islands will play an important role in the international strategic initiatives over the next couple of years, said Soto. For example, Cayman Island staff could be utilized to support a possible new wealth management office in New Zealand.

Patrizia Bruzio, vice president for International Wealth Management Wealth Advisory Services, will head up the office in the Cayman Islands, which is located in Grand Cayman’s Camana Bay, one of the island’s newest office, retail and entertainment complexes. 

The International Wealth Management group focuses on the wealth and investment planning, trust and estate planning and private banking needs of high-net-worth clients around the globe, BNY Mellon said. 

Margarida Correia writes for Bank Investment Consultant.