Reliance Financial Corp., a privately held financial services and wealth management company, will acquire Citigroup Trust-Delaware, a subsidiary of Citibank, and fold it into Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware, the company announced today.

The acquisition involves approximately 3,000 accounts and $1.7 billion in assets under administration, which represent non-target-market business for Citi Private Bank’s trust business.  The transaction is expected to close late in the first quarter, pending regulatory approval.

“This transaction will enable Reliance Trust Company of Delaware to increase its size, scale and overall nationwide footprint in the personal trust business,” Michael Roberts, executive vice president of Reliance Trust, said in a statement.

The acquisition will also strengthen Reliance’s competitive position as a “leading provider of advisor-based fiduciary services in the Delaware market and nationally,” added James Maxwell, chairman, CEO and president of Atlanta-based Reliance Financial.

Most of the business was associated with financial advisors who had been with Smith Barney, which was once part of Citigroup, Anthony Guthrie, a founding partner of Reliance Financial, said in a telephone interview. The accounts, he said, did not meet the size required for Citi Private Bank’s trust business.

Reliance expects to bring over 30 people from Citigroup who have supported the business for many years as primary relationship managers, Guthrie explained.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Reliance Trust Company which will enable them to take over the management of this portion of our business in North America,” Paul James, chief executive of Citi Private Bank’s trust business, said in a statement. He added that Citi Trust in North America will continue to provide trust and estate services to the high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients of Citi Private Bank through its centers in Delaware, New York and South Dakota.

Reliance Financial Corporation has more than $113 billion in assets under management and administration.

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