BNY Mellon Wealth Management has hired the former treasurer of Illinois, Alexi Giannoulias, to oversee business development for the Chicago wealth management office.

In his role as senior advisor, Giannoulias also will be responsible for strengthening the company’s client relationships with government entities across the U.S., BNY Mellon said in a statement.

Giannoulias oversaw a $14 billion portfolio while serving as Illinois state treasurer from 2007 to 2011. In the 2010 election, he ran as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. 

In a statement, Michael DiMedio, president of BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s Chicago region, said that Giannoulias’ “commitment in the community, experience in public service and record of leadership” will help the wealth manager grow in its delivery of “world-class financial service capabilities to high-net-worth Chicagoans and the greater Chicagoland market.”

BNY Mellon Wealth Management plans to add five new positions in the Chicago office this year, the firm said. Over the last year, the wealth manager has been building its presence in the Chicago market, the third largest in the U.S. In July of 2011, it acquired the investment management business of Chicago-based Talon Asset Management.

The additional resources are part of a strategic push to be in the top 10 U.S. wealth markets. In November, BNY Mellon Wealth Management announced the opening of its first office in Washington, D.C., establishing itself in each of the top 10 markets and in 16 of the top 25. 

BNY Wealth Management has about $170 billion in private client assets and an international network of offices. 

Margarida Correia writes for Bank Investment Consultant.