Stifel Financial Corp., the Missouri-based investment bank known for snapping up regional rivals and Wall Street castoffs, agreed to buy Barclays Plc’s U.S. wealth- management business.
Barclays had about 180 financial advisors in the U.S. managing $56 billion in total client assets as of May 31, St. Louis-based Stifel said Monday in a statement that didn’t include terms. Barclays had bought the unit with other Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. operations in 2008 and was faulted by regulators last year for inadequate internal controls there.
Stifel Chief Executive Officer Ron Kruszewski has made more than two dozen acquisitions since taking the helm in 1997, boosting net revenue every year to build one of the largest U.S. securities firms based outside of New York. His spree has consolidated an industry beset by shrinking margins and the cost of keeping up with new technology and stiffer regulation.
“Combining the depth of Barclays’s franchise and breadth of Stifel’s product offerings, coupled with an entrepreneurial and client-focused culture, will create the premier wealth-management platform in the industry,” Kruszewski said in the statement.
Stifel’s targets since the financial crisis have included Sterne Agee Group Inc., KBW Inc. and Thomas Weisel Partners Group Inc. The Barclays’s deal is expected to be completed in mid-November.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year faulted Barclays’s stewardship of the U.S. wealth-management unit in the years after the crisis. The bank failed to build a strong compliance infrastructure while integrating the business into its U.S. capital-markets division, the agency said in September.
The SEC fined the division $15 million, finding employees made more than 1,500 transactions for client accounts without providing required written disclosures or getting consent. The Barclays subsidiary, which didn’t admit or deny the claims, said at the time that it had cooperated with investigators and strengthened oversight.
“The sale of our U.S. wealth franchise to Stifel represents a good outcome for Barclays and for our clients,” Akshaya Bhargava, Barclays’s CEO of global wealth and investment management, said in the statement.
Stifel’s lead financial adviser in the deal was Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., while Bryan Cave LLP provided legal advice.