Zurich Insurance Group AG is nearing a deal to buy Deutsche Bank AG’s Italian financial promoters network, according to people familiar with the matter.
Zurich has emerged as the leading candidate to buy DB Financial Advisors in a deal that would value the asset at about 350 million euros ($415 million), said one of the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. No final decision has been made and discussions could still fall through, the people said.
Representatives for Zurich and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco is looking to expand one of Europe’s biggest insurers via bolt-on deals. Last year, he struck a deal with Deutsche Bank to extend a distribution agreement that lets the Swiss company sell pension and property/casualty insurance through all of the lender’s retail branches in Germany.
Deutsche Bank’s network in Italy has more than 16 billion euros of assets under management and counts about 1,100 advisers. Mediobanca SpA and Allianz SE had also been in the running to buy the asset, Bloomberg News has reported.
Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing is nearing the final stretch of a four-year turnaround plan that seeks to slash headcount and cut businesses where the bank considers itself not competitive. However, Sewing is also aiming to expand the wealth management unit and on a call last week singled out “very nice” growth Italy.
–With assistance from Steven Arons.
Photograph: Zurich Insurance Group AG building in Zurich, Switzerland, Photo credit: Alessandro Della Bella/Bloomberg