The news that has been rumored for months is confirmed: Wells Fargo has announced a definitive agreement to sell Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) for 2.1 billion dollars to GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners, L.P., both private equity firms.
The firm has explained in a statement that WFAM is the trade name used by the asset management businesses of Wells Fargo and includes Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, the investment advisor to the funds, Wells Capital Management Incorporated and Wells Fargo Asset Management (International) Limited, both registered investment advisors providing subadvisory services to certain funds.
As part of the transaction, Wells Fargo will own a 9.9% equity interest and will continue to serve as an important client and distribution partner. WFAM currently has 603 billion dollars in assets under management and specialized investment teams supported by more than 450 investment professionals.
The agreement is in line with the decisions made by Charles Scharf, former BNY Mellon CEO, who joined the bank in 2019 following a sales practices scandal. The clearest precedent is that the bank agreed in January to sell its Canadian direct equipment finance business to Toronto-Dominion Bank. The deal is expected to be fully closed by the second half of 2021.
Nico Marais, CEO of Wells Fargo AM since June 2019, will remain in his position and together with his team will continue to oversee the business. Joseph A. Sullivan, former chairman and CEO of Legg Mason, will be named executive chairman of the board of the new company following the closing of the transaction