Wells Fargo intends to continue shopping for more institutional trust deals, which should in turn drive its mutual fund business forward, a company executive told American Banker.

"There has been a lot of consolidation in this business, because a lot of banks don't consider trust and custody servicing and retirement planning to be strategic business," said Laurie B. Norquist, an executive vice president in the San Francisco banker's institutional trust services unit.

Well's Fargo's "No. 1 strategic initiative for growth" is in its investment management and insurance business, she said.

"We are always looking for a good deal at the right price, and if acquisition allows us to put all of the processing in one central location, it is attractive," Norquist said. "We want to get leverage and scale and also keep the people and the relationships."

The firm hopes that its institutional trust service business will drive assets into its mutual fund and other management businesses.

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