Two asset and wealth management firms and two private equity firms are reportedly in the running to purchase Wells Fargo's (NYSE:WFC) asset management arm, Bloomberg has reported, citing anonymous sources.

The two asset management firms named in the report are Ameriprise Financial (NYSE:AMP), with $900 billion in assets under management, and the Toronto-based CI Financial (NYSE:CIXX), with $128 billion assets under management.

CI Financial is a relatively new player in the U.S., entering the country this year. At the end of the third quarter, the company had about $4.7 billion in assets under management in the U.S. The two private equity firms named in the report are GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners.

Wells Fargo

Image source: Wells Fargo

The first rumors of Wells Fargo potentially selling its asset management circulated in October after CEO Charlie Scharf said on the bank's third-quarter earnings call that it would be exiting some segments that aren't core to its business. Scharf has also said that Wells Fargo will be looking to cut annual expenses by about $10 billion.

The rumors also said the asset management arm of Wells Fargo could fetch as much as $3 billion.

Final bids for the unit will be submitted later in December, according to one of the anonymous sources, and then Wells Fargo may narrow the contest down to two bids, or make its final decision. A deal still may not happen at all, depending on the bids.

The asset management division could be one of many sales for Wells Fargo in 2021, as the bank is also rumored to be considering selling other segments, including its private-label card business, its corporate trust division, and possibly its student loan portfolio as well.

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