Bank of New York Mellon Wealth Management wants to expand more U.S. and overseas markets through a stream of new hires and takeovers, Chief Executive Lawrence Hughes told Reuters on Wednesday.

Hughes, who ascended to the division's top job in May, also says BNY Mellon Wealth will continue adding financial advisers and boost its ranks of new business-generating staff by 15 percent this year.

We're very interested in expanding organically and through acquisition, Hughes said in the interview. We made a pretty substantial investment in growing our own sales force and we're also interested in strategic acquisitions in markets that make sense for us.

BNY Mellon Wealth, product of numerous money-manager takeovers such as Mellon's purchase of The Boston Co in 1993, took a breather as parent companies Bank of New York and Mellon integrated their own 2007 merger.

Last month, BNY acquired a C$3.5 billion Canadian investment adviser called I(3) Advisors, part of the bank's plans to accelerate its global expansion. More deals in fast-growing markets will follow.

We are actively pursuing opportunities, he said.

BNY Mellon Wealth will seek out purchases or key hires in markets where the parent company's asset management and investment services businesses are already established, such as Brazil and several other markets in Asia and Europe.

China, where BNY Mellon this month announced an asset management venture with Chinese partners Western Securities, is another likely destination, he said.

Domestically, we would like to increase our presence in Texas, we'd like to expand into Arizona and continue to grow in California and Florida, Hughes said. That includes recruiting wealth advisers and sales staff.

BNY Mellon touts its 17 consecutive quarters of asset growth, a streak that continued through the 2008 financial crisis. Hughes, who had been BNY Mellon's head of U.S. client service and sales, has helped guide the wealth management unit's expansion for 19 years.

Hughes took over in May after long-time CEO David Lamere resigned. Hughes, who said Lamere left for personal reasons and by his own choice, added there are no plans to pursue new strategies.

Another important business initiative, he said, is closer coordination between BNY Mellon's wealth management and consumer banking businesses. BNY Mellon Wealth already offers credit, deposits and other private banking for its super-wealthy customers, but now is considering other services.

We're looking at that arena to see if there is more we can do, said Hughes, who added the bank will likely announce more detail plans later this year. It helps simplify clients' lives.

(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Gary Hill)