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Wells Fargo Mulls Sale Of Eastdil Secured

Wells Fargo & Co. is considering a sale of Eastdil Secured as part of its ongoing effort to unload non-core businesses. The San Francisco-based bank has owned the real estate brokerage and investment bank for nearly 20 years.

Eastdil Secured CEO Roy March and Managing Director Jeff Weber

Potential buyers might include private equity firms, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing anonymous sources. No buyer has been found yet, however, so such a deal might not materialize.

Eastdil, headed by Roy March, is considered a niche firm, specializing in sales and refinancing deals larger than $100M.

That niche has seen a bit of sluggishness lately, with deals of that size posting a 16% drop last year compared with 2016. Eastdil also suffered from falling New York office sales last year, which dropped 83% from 2016.

A number of top Eastdil execs have departed recently. In May, a group of managing directors jumped ship to go to Newmark Group to run its hotel capital markets business. In 2016, Eastdil lost its top investment sales team, Douglas Harmon and Adam Spies, to Cushman & Wakefield.

For its part, Wells Fargo has sold a number of assets it considers non-core lately, including Pick-a-Pay loans for $1.6B and Shareowner Services for an unspecified price. Shareowner provides such services as stock transfer agents, corporate action and investment planning.

The bank is also shrinking its national retail footprint. It is shutting down 450 branch locations to cut expenses by $4B, a process it will complete next year.