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Wells Fargo looking to sell brokerage unit: Report

Posted On: May. 9, 2017 2:00 PM CST

Wells Fargo looking to sell brokerage unit: Report

San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo & Co. is considering selling its insurance brokerage unit for about $2 billion, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg said Wells Fargo is contacting private equity firms to determine the interest in Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. The bank is planning to move forward with a sale, Bloomberg reported, but it hasn’t set a timeline for holding a formal auction, one of the people said.

According to Business Insurance’s latest ranking, Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. is the world’s 10th largest insurance brokerage, with more than $1.3 billion in annual brokerage revenue.

Wells Fargo did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Bloomberg’s sources said the insurance unit does not contribute much to the bank’s overall return on equity. It’s a relatively easy business for Wells Fargo to carve out, since it isn’t deeply enmeshed with the rest of the company, the report said.

Wells Fargo executives are expected to update analysts and shareholders on their strategy at an investor day scheduled for Thursday, Bloomberg said.

Last year, Wells Fargo sold its crop insurance business to Zurich Insurance Group and in 2014, the company sold 40 of its insurance brokerage and consulting offices to USI Insurance Services.