Citigroup's private wealth management division has agreed to sell a trust bank subsidiary to Reliance Financial in Atlanta.

Reliance Trust of Delaware, a subsidiary of $113 billion-asset Reliance Financial, has agreed to acquire Citigroup Trust-Delaware, the companies said Wednesday in a press release. They expect the deal to close in the first quarter of the year, pending regulatory approvals. Once the deal closes, Reliance will merge the Citigroup book of business into its Delaware charter.

Citigroup Trust-Delaware has approximately 3,000 accounts with $1.7 billion under administration. Thirty Citigroup relationship managers will join Reliance as part of the deal, Reliance Financial chairman and chief executive James Maxwell told American Banker.

He would not disclose the price or discuss other terms of the deal.

"The acquisition fits perfectly within the structure of our Delaware institution, which is a trust business supported by financial advisors throughout the country," Maxwell said. "This is a deal that augments all of the things we're trying to accomplish in that charter."

The acquisition will double the size of Reliance Trust of Delaware, Maxwell said.

Citigroup has been trying to sell or shut down hundreds of billions of dollars worth of assets since the financial crisis, and new Chief Executive Michael Corbat has stepped up the bank's efforts to slim down. The trust accounts sold were originated by the Smith Barney wealth management arm that is now part of a joint venture with Morgan Stanley (MS), which is gradually buying out Citigroup's stake in that venture.

The third-largest bank said in the release that the trust accounts it is selling are "non-target-market business for Citi Private Bank's trust business," as the private bank focuses on high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients. The deal "is consistent with Citi's strategy to reduce non-core assets," according to the release.

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