Wells Fargo Asset Management acquired by CTCR and Reverence Capital Partners

Wells Fargo & Company is to sell Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) to GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners. The deal includes Wells Fargo Bank NA’s business of acting as trustee to its collective investment trusts and all related WFAM legal entities. Under the terms of the agreement, the purchase price is USD2.1 billion.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. As part of the transaction, Wells Fargo will own a 9.9 per cent equity interest and will continue to serve as an important client and distribution partner.

WFAM is a leading asset management firm with USD603 billion in assets under management,2 24 offices globally, and specialised investment teams supported by more than 450 investment professionals. WFAM and its investment teams provide a broad range of differentiated investment products and solutions to help its diverse range of clients meet their investment objectives. 

“Operating as an independent firm as a portfolio company of GTCR and Reverence Capital will provide numerous benefits to WFAM’s clients, employees, and strategic partners – including Wells Fargo. At the same time, this transaction reflects Wells Fargo’s strategy to focus on businesses that serve our core consumer and corporate clients, and will allow us to focus even more on growing our wealth and brokerage businesses,” says Barry Sommers, CEO of Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management division.

GTCR and Reverence Capital are two respected private equity firms with deep experience investing in the asset management space. The two firms have successful track records of growing wealth and asset management businesses for the long term and will provide WFAM with the resources and expertise to deepen its innovative investment solutions. Upon closing of the transaction, the new, independent company will be rebranded.

Nico Marais, WFAM’s CEO since June 2019, will remain CEO; he and his leadership team will continue to oversee the business. Joseph A Sullivan, former chairman and CEO of Legg Mason, will be appointed as executive chairman of the board of the new company following the closing of the transaction.

“This transaction represents a significant milestone in the growth and evolution of our firm,” says Marais. “Through this new partnership, our business will be even better positioned to execute our strategy and provide our clients with innovative products and solutions to help them reach their investment goals.”

Collin Roche, managing director of GTCR, says: “We are thrilled to work with Nico and the team at WFAM, and we have tremendous conviction in the caliber and capabilities of the management professionals and leadership team. The organisation is poised to provide further innovation in the investment marketplace while continuing to deliver high-quality products to its clients. The team, underpinned by its diversity, client-orientation, and collaborative culture, has delivered strong performance, and we will work to reinforce these values and sustain this performance. Along with our partners at Reverence Capital, we are committed to the long-term success of the organisation.”

Milton Berlinski, co-founder and managing partner of Reverence Capital, says: “We are very enthusiastic about this exceptional opportunity to partner with such talented investment professionals and to create an independent company that will grow over the long term and further enhance its innovative products and creative solutions for its clients. As an independent organisation, WFAM will pivot to the next phase of its growth and is positioned to expand on its solutions-based approach, multi-asset offerings, retail separately managed accounts, and customised investment products.”

Wells Fargo Securities served as exclusive financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel to Wells Fargo in connection with the transaction.

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