Bank of New York Mellon directors have been quizzed on whether they initiated a hunt for a new chief executive, according to people familiar with the matter, in the latest intrigue to hit the custody bank.

The Financial Times reports that directors were reminded that a unilateral search to replace Gerald Hassell as chief executive would be a breach of fiduciary duty, one person said.

But each director denied asking Spencer Stuart, a recruitment agency, to look for possible successors. Wesley von Schack, a former energy industry executive, serves as lead independent director. Hassell is chairman as well as chief executive.

Reuters reported on Friday that Spencer Stuart — ‘at the prompting of at least one director’ — had drawn up a list of potential chief executives, including Greg Fleming, who runs wealth and investment management at Morgan Stanley.

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BNY Mellon directors quizzed on CEO hunt

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