Wells Fargo & Co. plans to sell its asset-management business to two private equity firms, part of Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf’s efforts to dump non-essential operations and help the bank emerge from years of scandals.

GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners agreed to buy Wells Fargo Asset Management for US$2.1 billion, according to a statement Tuesday. The unit has US$603 billion of assets under management and employs more than 450 investment professionals.

Scharf, who took the reins in late 2019, has conducted deep reviews of Wells Fargo’s businesses, and said earlier this year that divestitures would help improve the company’s focus. He listed asset management, corporate trust and rail leasing as units on the chopping block.

“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,” Barry Sommers, CEO of Wells Fargo’s wealth and investment-management division, said in the statement.

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Source: BNN Bloomberg

By Tom Metcalf and Hannah Levitt