The report came out of InvestmentNews on Tuesday, the 15th, when they cited “unnamed industry personnel and recruiters” who said they got wind of talks between the firms. Then on Wednesday, both Wells Fargo and UBS denied the reports.
So where did the rumor come from? Well, according to Lorie Konish, of OnWallStreet, it dates back to December in an interview with John Stumpf, Wells Fargo Chief Executive who stated in interviews that the firm was looking for an acquisition to better leverage its wealth management business. Add to that, the speculation over several months that UBS would sell its U.S. wealth management business, despite denial by CEO Oswald Gruebel.
So, there is…rumor + rumor = bigger rumor! (I might add that you can find further speculation out there regarding the pros and cons of such a merger between the two.)
It will be interesting to follow…