Year-End Reflections from CEO Catherine Keating

Read Catherine’s letter and our 2021 Outlook.

To Our Clients and Friends,

We are no strangers to history at BNY Mellon. And 2020 was certainly a year for the history books –– and the medical books, and the science, economics, government, law and justice books. Our children and grandchildren will read about 2020 for decades to come.

BNY Mellon has learned over our two centuries in business that crises have a way of reinforcing values and fostering innovation. When I reflect on this year, I realize there is much for which I am grateful: 

Purpose. As the pandemic escalated, our teams had some of the most meaningful conversations we have ever had with you –– conversations about what matters most to you. We had similar conversations within BNY Mellon. Our CEO, Todd Gibbons, led us to reaffirm our purpose of powering our clients to succeed in the financial world, and our four core values: Excellence, Integrity, Inclusion and Leadership. 

Connection. When social distancing and travel restrictions became our new reality, we were able to serve you in a new way: virtually. We transitioned more than 90% of our global workforce to work from home, and met with you virtually in your homes. Thank you for inviting us in. Our transition was the result of three years of technology investment in innovation and corporate resiliency. We had no idea we were rehearsing for a global pandemic, but we were prepared to serve you when the time came. 

Conviction. It’s hard for investors to stay the course when the world feels off course. When the stock market plummeted in March, more than 2,000 of you joined us for a webinar with our investment team. Our team advised you to rebalance. We had conviction that in 12 to 18 months, you would be glad you were buyers, not sellers. And we were right, as markets have reached new highs.

Community. We saw you leap into action to support urgent needs, from food insecurity to education and more, with increased giving from our donor advised fund, non-profit and planned giving programs. BNY Mellon acted as well. This spring, in a matter of days, we provided iPads to New York City hospitals so patients could communicate with family members who couldn’t visit them. We also worked with homeless shelters to provide WiFi for children’s remote schooling and increased our corporate philanthropy around the world, including a 2:1 match on employees’ charitable donations.

We are glad to leave much of 2020 behind. But we will carry forward purpose, connection, conviction and community.

Looking ahead, we see brighter days in 2021, and a somewhat muted decade to follow. Read more about our 2021 Investment Outlook here. 

At BNY Mellon, we believe that success is measured in decades and generations, not just years. We continue to rely on the five practices of our Active Wealth approach –– investing, spending, borrowing, managing taxes and costs, and protecting legacy –– to sustain your success.

Thank You

Thank you for the trust and confidence you place in us every day. We are committed to continuing to earn it. We look forward to this new year and the privilege of actively managing your wealth together.

With our gratitude and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year,

Catherine Keating

Chief Executive Officer, BNY Mellon Wealth Management