Wells Fargo is reportedly seeking a buyer for its H.D. Vest brokerage and financial advisory unit.
The business is valued at over $200 million and has received attention from private equity firms, according to Bloomberg.com. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has said the bank’s wealth management, brokerage and retirement planning business is “sub-optimized” and has been seeking ways to reorganize and sell off the bank’s under-performing divisions.
Herb D. Vest, a CPA, founded the firm in 1983 and lobbied for three years for the American Institute of CPAs and the state of Texas to repeal a rule barring CPAs from accepting commissions from clients. Wells Fargo acquired the firm from him in 2001 and built it into the largest provider of financial services through tax and accounting professionals in the U.S.
H.D. Vest has approximately 5,200 independent contractors, including CPAs and enrolled agents. It has over $26 billion in assets under management.
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