Wells Fargo’s wealth, brokerage and retirement unit earned $351 million in net income in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 13% from the year before, the bank reported Friday. The unit generated $3.1 billion in revenue, a 1.7% increase in a year-over-year comparison.

Client assets with retail brokerage reached $1.2 trillion, up 8% from the prior year. Managed account assets jumped 20% from 2011 driven by strong net flows and market performance, the bank said.

Client assets with the wealth management group grew 3% to $204 billion, while Institutional Retirement plan assets and IRA assets grew 13% and 11%, respectively, from 2011.

Overall, the company earned a record $18.9 billion in 2012, up 19% from 2011. For the fourth quarter, it earned $5.1 billion, a 24% increase from the year before.  Earnings per share were 91 cents for the quarter, up from 73 cents in the same period last year.

“2012 was an outstanding year for Wells Fargo,” the company’s Chairman and CEO John Stumpf said in a press release. “We saw the continued benefits of our diversified business model and reported record full-year and fourth-quarter earnings, robust deposit and solid loan growth, and strong performance across our business units.”

CFO Tim Sloan added, “The company’s underlying results were driven by solid loan growth, improved credit quality and continued success in improving efficiency. While our fourth quarter included some noteworthy  items, we achieved strong returns on average assets and equity of 1.46% and  13.35% respectively…..Our balanced business model helped us deliver strong results throughout these challenging times and should provide us the opportunity to continue to deliver value to our shareholders in the coming year.”

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