Will a Bank Sell Its $578B-AUM Asset Manager?
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Friday, October 23, 2020

Will a Bank Sell Its $578B-AUM Asset Manager?

A giant, publicly traded bank may be selling off its asset management arm.

Nicolaas "Nico" Marais
Wells Fargo Asset Management
Senior leadership at Wells Fargo & Co is looking into selling Wells Fargo Asset Management, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources. WFAM had $578 billion in AUM as of the end of June, and the rumored deal could have a price above $3 billion, according to the wire service: that translates into 0.52 percent of its AUM.

Reuters does not mention any banks helping Wells with the sale. Yet Wells does have its own investment banking arm.

The sale rumors follow Wells missing earnings expectations earlier this month, after its Q3 profit fell 57 percent. Then CEO Charlie Scharf said on the company earnings call that he plans to exit companies that are "not core to serving [Wells'] core customer base on the consumer and large corporate side." Asset management is part of the bank's wealth and investment management division (WIM), which also includes its wirehouse and independent broker-dealer businesses. Barry Sommers leads WIM, while Nico Marais leads WFAM.

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