The New York Program visit to BNY Mellon at One Wall St. consisted of a luncheon, followed by a panel discussion with alums and parents of Hamilton College students, then a tour of the company’s museum, which holds a loan agreement signed by Alexander Hamilton given to the U.S. government. The trip ended with a brief tour of the company’s former public banking floor, known as the Red Room.
The panel discussion included an overview of the company’s history and its role in the global capital markets. The panel included: Woody Kerr ’79, chief administrative officer for global operations and technology services, Jeff Kuhn P’09, chief operating officer for financial markets and treasury services, David Nichols ’77, managing director in strategic sales for global markets, and Michael Woolfolk, managing director and senior currency strategist. Each panelist also gave an overview of their position and department, and the department’s importance to the company.
The discussion was to have included a tour of BNY Mellon’s trading floor. However due to the power outage caused by Super Storm Sandy, the trading room had to be temporarily moved to the company’s contingency site in New Jersey. Although we were not able to see the floor, David Nichols explained sales and trading functions and the role of the trading floor in supporting BNY Mellon’s global custody and securities servicing businesses. The company’s foreign exchange division executes approximately 14,000 transactions daily, for a total volume of more than $50 billion.
After the panel discussion, the group toured the company’s museum lead by curator Chris McKay P’08,’10. The tour covered the history of the bank, mergers and acquisitions, including Mellon Financial Corporation and Irving Trust Company, and a viewing of what could be considered the first Treasury bill, by which Alexander Hamilton arranged for funds to be lent to the newly formed U.S. government.
The visit ended with a brief tour of the Red Room. The room was designed by the architectural firm Voorhees, Gmelin, and Walker in 1931. The walls of the room are covered with glass of all shapes and sizes in warm colors, forming one giant Venetian glass mosaic.
The BNY Mellon visit was informative and provided a great overview of the company’s role in the development and successes of early New York City and its current position in the global economy.