Wells Fargo May Want A Big Brokerage Buy Of Its Own...Or Just Insurance


CEO John Stumpf has been making the rounds teasing about acquisitions ahead.


We know he wants to move upmarket to give his already-significant brokerage force -- the sum of previous buys like A.G. Edwards, Wachovia and Pru -- a solid presence in the wealth management space.


The question is who he'd have to buy among the high-end firms to generate appreciable scale. Wilmington Trust is off the table, but if Wells Fargo could find a comparable trust bank like Glenmede, there might be a fit.


Wells Fargo already has roughly 10% of the retail deposits in the country, which it effectively the regulatory limit: it can't grow any bigger in its conventional banking business.


Another option may be buying an insurer or two -- maybe someone in the annuity space to give Stumpf a product to sell into the wealth management channel, not to mention his bank branches. 


This piece of the puzzle hasn't been put in place yet, but it would make a whole lot of sense.



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