Bank of America Corp. (BAC:US) is seeking to divest wealth-management units outside the U.S., its largest market, a person with direct knowledge of the process said.
Bidders were asked to submit the first round of offers this week for a business with about $90 billion in assets under management, said the person, who declined to be identified because details about the auction are private. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender’s non-U.S. wealth-management units operate in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan has sold more than $50 billion in assets to boost capital and simplify the company since taking over in 2010. The units up for sale were acquired in the 2009 purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co., and co- chief operating officer Thomas K. Montag gained oversight of the business in September.
Moynihan, 52, has said that adding financial advisers in the U.S. is a priority. The firm’s global wealth-management division had $2.1 trillion in total client balances at year-end.
The sale of the business was reported earlier today by Reuters. It could generate $1.5 billion to $2 billion, and Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) or Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER) may be among bidders, according to CNBC.
John McIvor, a Bank of America spokesman, said he couldn’t comment.
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