Guggenheim Partners has been named exclusive bidder for Deutsche Bank’s asset management business.

The process has been going since November last year, when the German bank placed all of its institutional asset management businesses under a strategic review.

Guggenheim is understood to have beaten other bidders including JP Morgan, Macquarie and Wells Fargo.

Early reports indicate that the price paid could be €1.5 billion to €2 billion, which suggests Guggenheim is not buying the entirety of the $400 billion in AUM on offer.

The businesses that were under review include DWS Americas, DB Advisors, Deutsche Insurance Asset Management and RREEF, the global alternative asset management business.

DB Advisors and RREEF, in particular, have Asian business which would be included in the sale, although the bulk of the assets come from US institutions. Deutsche will retain its Asian and European mutual fund businesses.

If the sale goes ahead, it will mark a quantum leap in Guggenheim’s metamorphosis, from family office to full-blooded global asset manager. It also has a securities trading arm and so can be compared to a firm such as Alliance Bernstein, with its combined asset management/securities make-up.

Guggenheim now has $125 billion under management, although it is not broken out what portion of this is assets under management or assets under advisement, the term commonly used when firms advise high-net-worth individuals how to manage their money.

Even so, it would be a dramatic move into the world of institutional investing for a firm that is privately held and privately focused.