BlackRock has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the asset management business of Citibanamex, a subsidiary of Citigroup, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal includes about $31bn in assets under management of Citibanamex, across local fixed income, equity and multi-asset products, primarily for retail clients.

In Mexico, BlackRock’s business currently focuses primarily on institutional clients, delivering international investment and risk management products and services.

The sale of asset management business is part of Citi’s strategy to focus mainly expanding access to investments products, rather than on manufacturing proprietary asset management products.

Upon the closing of the transaction, the two financial groups will also enter into a distribution agreement under which BlackRock’s asset management products will be offered to Citibanamex clients in Mexico.

Citibanamex offers wealth management products and services to more than 20 million clients in Mexico through its network of 1,500 branches.

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Commenting on the deal, BlackRock head of Latin America and Iberia Armando Senra said: “This transaction is a big step forward in that direction in Mexico. The acquisition of Citibanamex’s asset management capabilities combined with our global investment platform and technology create a stronger franchise that can deliver a more compelling set of investment solutions across client segments in Mexico.”

Citi CEO of Latin America Jane Fraser said: “The agreement with BlackRock delivers on our commitment, offering clients leading asset management services, and provides BlackRock with access to our extensive network in Mexico. We are excited by the opportunities this transaction offers and look forward to working with BlackRock.”

The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.