NEW YORK - April 27, 2012
Wells Fargo Securities, the capital markets and investment banking business of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), today announced that a definitive agreement has been reached to acquire Merlin Securities, LLC, a San Francisco and NYC-based prime brokerage services and technology provider. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Merlin offers an industry leading suite of integrated solutions with its MerlinPrime and MerlinSHARP products and provides open architecture technology, custody and clearing services, operational support, and securities trading to clients in the asset management industry.
“Merlin’s capabilities fill an important niche in Wells Fargo Securities’ product set and connect many activities where we already have expertise, including technology, custody, clearing, collateral management and execution,” said John Shrewsberry, head of Wells Fargo Securities. “This is a logical extension of our offering to the investment industry, which is increasingly focused on tools to enhance risk management and improve capital efficiency. In addition, it provides new cross-sell opportunities for existing customers of both Wells Fargo and Merlin. This transaction enhances our ability to meet customer needs and generate earnings for our shareholders, all while adhering to our disciplines of prudent risk management and controlled growth.”
As part of the transaction, Merlin’s team members will join Wells Fargo Securities. Managing partners Stephan Vermut and Aaron Vermut will continue to lead the Prime Services Offering. Merlin and Wells Fargo Securities will work closely with existing clients to continue to provide uninterrupted service and focus on clients’ ongoing needs.
“Wells Fargo is the perfect partner for Merlin and its clients,” said Merlin’s Stephan Vermut. “Together, our clients will have access to a greater range of products and financial resources that will augment the open architecture solutions that Merlin currently provides. This combination will enable us to expand our client base to a broader set of asset managers looking for the safest custodians and the best products available.”
“With the acquisition of Merlin, we are gaining highly scalable, broker neutral technology with multi-asset and multi-custodian capabilities,” said Chris Bartlett, head of Equity Sales and Trading at Wells Fargo Securities. “Merlin’s open architecture platform enables clients to choose the custodian and trading platform that is right for their business. Their team members have extensive experience in this industry and we look forward to adding their expertise to our platform.”
The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the third quarter of 2012. Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor and Arnold & Porter served as counsel to Merlin. Wells Fargo Securities served as its own financial advisor with Morgan Lewis as counsel.
About Wells Fargo Securities
Wells Fargo Securities delivers a comprehensive set of capital markets products and services to customers, including originating and distributing public debt and equity, hedging interest rates, commodity and equity risks, advising on mergers and acquisitions, and originating structured lending facilities and municipal bonds. The institutional capital markets business is comprised of more than 3500 team members in 40+ offices across the United States, Europe and Asia.
Wells Fargo Securities is the trade name for certain capital markets and investment banking services of Wells Fargo & Company and its subsidiaries, including Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, member NYSE, FINRA, NFA and SIPC, Wells Fargo Institutional Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, Wells Fargo Securities International Limited (authorized by the U.K. FSA), Wells Fargo Securities Asia Limited (licensed by the HK SFC), and Wells Fargo Securities (Japan) Co., Ltd. (registered with the KLFB).
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
About Merlin Securities LLC
Merlin is a premier technology solutions provider and prime brokerage services firm offering integrated solutions to the alternative investment industry. The firm serves more than 500 single- and multi-primed managers, providing them with a broad suite of solutions including dynamic performance attribution analytics and reporting, seamless multi-custody services, capital development, 24-hour international trading, securities lending experts and institutional brokerage. The firm has offices in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, San Diego and Toronto. Merlin is a member of FINRA and SIPC. For more information, please visit www.merlinsecurities.com.