GLOBAL - German bank WestLB has sold asset manager and private bank Banque d'Orsay to French asset manager Oddo & Cie.

The new entity, which will have around 900 employees, hopes to get regulatory approval and complete the deal by the end of the year.

Werner Taiber, who was part of WestLB's management board and responsible for overseeing the former French subsidy, said: "With the sale of Banque d'Orsay, WestLB has taken a further important step toward focusing on its core competencies."

WestLB - which saw €77bn of bad assets removed from the group by the SoFFin, the German effort to stabilise banks during the financial crisis - was instructed by the European Commission to investigate selling its assets.

Guido Mundt, chief executive of Banque d'Orsay, added: "I am delighted at the prospect of collaborating with a new and stable shareholder that has a longstanding presence in France, as this represents a growth opportunity for the group."

The acquisition of Banque d'Orsay will add 40 funds to Oddo's 120 vehicles, while bringing an additional €2.5bn in assets to the new entity.

It will continue to focus on institutional clients, as well as corporate and private clients.

Philippe Oddo, a member of the family-owned company's board, said they seized the opportunity to boost their presence in asset management.

Oddo & Cie currently has €17bn in assets under management, with 42% of the company owned by the Oddo family, a further 30% held by employees and 20% by German insurer Allianz.