Barclays in pounds 275m US deal

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The Independent Online
Barclays will become one of the world's largest fund managers with the acquisition of Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors, the bank confirmed yesterday. At $440m (pounds 275m), the consideration is less than half the whispered cost of the deal.

Barclays' chief executive, Martin Taylor, described Wells Fargo Nikko as "a world leader in its field, an advanced, technology-driven business with strong managment. It is an excellent product and geographical fit."

The company - a joint venture between Wells Fargo, the American bank, and Nikko, the Japanese securities house - made profits last year of $45m and had net assets of $80m. The deal is expected to be tied up by the end of the year, depending on regulatory approval.

WFNIA, a pioneer of index tracking investment, is one of the largest US pension fund managers. In March it had $171bn under management compared with BZW's $83bn.

The combined group will easily outstrip Britain's largest pension-fund manager, Mercury Asset Management, and approaches Fidelity, the world's largest fund manager, which has over $300bn invested.