What You Need to Know
- Bank of Montreal agreed to sell its Europe, Middle East and Africa asset management unit to Ameriprise Financial.
- The deal is expected to give Ameriprise an additional $124 billion of AUM.
- Ameriprise says the deal will accelerate its strategy of growing its fee-based businesses.
Bank of Montreal agreed to sell its Europe, Middle East and Africa asset management unit to Ameriprise Financial Inc. for 615 million pounds ($847 million), marking Chief Executive Officer Darryl White’s biggest move yet to trim the bank’s portfolio of non-core businesses.
The sale also includes the opportunity for some U.S. clients to move to Ameriprise’s Columbia Threadneedle Investments unit, subject to their consent, Toronto-based Bank of Montreal said in a statement Monday.
White, who took the reins of Canada’s fourth-largest lender in 2017, said in January that BMO was looking to “harvest investments” in businesses where the returns weren’t good enough or where the bank didn’t see a path to a leadership position, and then redeploy that capital toward better opportunities. Increased competition on fees and a shift to passively managed investments have hampered profitability in the fund industry, prompting banks including Societe Generale SA and Wells Fargo & Co. to sell their asset-management operations.
Bloomberg News reported in October that BMO was exploring options for its asset-management operations, including seeking a buyer for parts of the business outside its home market.