By Colin Kellaher

 

Wells Fargo & Co. Tuesday said it agreed to sell its Wells Fargo Asset Management unit to private-equity firms GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners LP for $2.1 billion, as the San Francisco bank continues its turnaround effort following a sales practices scandal.

Wells Fargo said it would retain a 9.9% stake in the unit, which has $603 billion in assets under management and more than 450 investment professionals in 24 offices around the world.

Wells Fargo, which has roughly $1.9 trillion in assets, said the sale reflects its strategy to focus on businesses that serve its core consumer and corporate clients and would allow its wealth and investment-management division to increase its focus on growing its wealth and brokerage businesses.

Chief Executive Charles Scharf, who joined Wells Fargo in late 2019 from Bank of New York Mellon Corp. to restore the bank's tarnished reputation, had previously said the bank would shed some non-core businesses. Wells Fargo in December agreed to sell its $10 billion private student-loan portfolio.

Chicago-based GTCR and New York's Reverence Capital said they will partner with the Wells Fargo unit's management, portfolio managers and employees to complete and fund the transaction.

The firms said Joseph Sullivan, former chairman and chief executive of asset manager Legg Mason Inc., will join Wells Fargo Asset Management as executive chairman, while Nico Marais, who has been CEO of the Wells Fargo unit since 2019, will stay in that post.

Wells Fargo said it expects to complete the sale of Wells Fargo Asset Management in the second half, adding that it would remain a client and distribution partner of the unit.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 23, 2021 10:36 ET (15:36 GMT)

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