Deutsche Bank Said to Plan Sale of U.S. Private-Client Unit

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Deutsche Bank Plans to Sell Private-Client Brokerage

Deutsche Bank AG, Europe’s largest investment bank, plans to sell its U.S. private-client brokerage, according to people briefed on the matter.

Raymond James Financial Inc. is in talks to buy the business, which manages money for individuals and has about 250 advisers, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal hasn’t been completed. The sale doesn’t include Deutsche Bank’s U.S. private bank, which handles some of its wealthiest clients and had been expanding in recent years.

Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Officer John Cryan is preparing to shrink the investment-banking empire built by his predecessors to lower costs, lift capital levels and raise the company’s stock price. The bank is considering selling a life-insurance unit and a $250 billion portfolio of credit-default swaps, people familiar with the matter said this month.

The U.S. private-client business, once part of Alex. Brown, was acquired by Deutsche Bank in its purchase of Bankers Trust Corp. in 1999. The $9 billion deal was a record at the time for a foreign purchase of a U.S. investment bank.

Raymond James shares climbed 2.1 percent to $51.29 at 12:32 p.m. in New York.

Deutsche Bank dropped the 202-year-old Alex. Brown name from its investment bank in 2002. The Frankfurt-based company considered selling the brokerage as far back as 2001, when it employed 400 people.

Renee Calabro, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman, and Anthea Penrose at St. Petersburg, Florida-based Raymond James declined to comment.

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