Royal Bank of Canada and Credit Suisse are among banks trying to buy the non-US wealth management businesses of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a deal that could be worth around $2 billion, according to Reuters, quoting unnamed sources.
Another bank, Zurich-listed Julius Baer is also a potential suitor, the report said.
None of the banks responded to Family Wealth Report seeking comment at the time of going to press.
If a deal does happen, it will represent one of the bigger merger and acquisition deals in wealth management during recent years. Despite talk of how the sector, faced with tighter margins, is ripe for consolidation, actual deals have tended to lag behind the talk. There have been some piecemeal changes internationally, such as the move by Brazil’s Safra Group to buy the controlling stake in Switzerland’s Sarasin, the private bank, from its previous owner, Netherlands-based Rabobank.
In an ironic twist, RBC recently inked a deal with global consultancy and research firm Capgemini to produce the annual global wealth report that in the past had been done between Capgemini and Merrill Lynch. The move is a sign perhaps of how RBC has gained ground in status as a wealth management player in recent years; it also has a significant presence outside its domestic market.