The news report said the Charlotte, North Carolina-based BofA also wants to sell First Republic Bank, a private financial institution it inherited as part of BofA’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. last year (see “Merrill Lynch Stockholders Approve BoA Deal’).
As part of its 2004 acquisition of FleetBoston Financial Corp., BofA acquired Columbia, which had $386.4 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2008. BofA could look to shed the investment management firm in an effort to get rid of non-core assets and better hold onto capital reserves
The Journal said some BofA executives feel Columbia is redundant when compared with BlackRock Inc., a New York money manager that was partly owned by Merrill. BofA has no plans to sell its share of BlackRock, according to the newspaper.