Financial services company State Street Corp. announced Wednesday it will sell its asset management business to Charles Schwab’s U.S Trust unit for $365 million.

The deal has been a rumor amongst analysts in the sector for some time, and represents a streamlining of sorts from State Street, Reuters reports. The company plans to focus on its core business of serving institutional clients, and move away from retail business. The move comes as many firms in the financial services sector are striving to get back to basics and not trying to be everything to everyone, but rather focusing on what they do well in an increasingly competitive market.

The portion of State Street’s business that has been sold to Schwab employs around 180 people and manages $11.5 billion in assets in New England, according to the company. The deal is slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Other interest in buying this portion of the business came from companies such as Northern Trust Corp. The acquisition is seen as being very beneficial to Schwab’s U.S. Trust division, which has been seeking to gain a foothold in the Northeastern region of the United States.

State Street said the divestiture will be neutral to operating earnings in 2003 and slightly dilutive in 2004.

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