Bank of America might finally be facing up to the inevitable conclusion that its business is a mess and it needs to dramatically restructure itself and sell off several businesses. It’s private-banking shop, First Republic Bank, is on the block. And this morning Mark DeCambre reports in the New York Post that B of A is selling it’s Columbia Management unit, an investment management business.
Sources said that BofA CEO Ken Lewis has told BlackRock boss Larry Fink that he wants to hold on to the BlackRock stake, but has expressed uncertainty about whether Columbia remains core to BofA’s franchise.
BofA inherited Columbia, which has roughly $470 billion in assets under management, when it acquired Fleet Boston about five years ago.
A BofA spokesman dismissed the Columbia sale talk as inaccurate.
Banks are also speculating that BofA might try to sell its stakes in China Construction Bank and the wealth-management unit US Trust, which is bought from Charles Schwab three years ago but is largely redundant now that the bank owns Merrill Lynch.
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