The world’s biggest financial services company has signed a deal with a Canadian bank to buy the majority stake in its flagship asset management unit.

The transaction is a significant step forward for Argus Wealth Management, which had previously been unable to buy Argus Global Wealth Management in a takeover.

Argus said in a statement the deal was a “significant milestone for our team and our global team”.

In a statement to the Australian Financial Reviews, Argus declined to say how much the bank paid or what it was for.

But Argus chief executive Paul Smith said the deal would “bring a lot of positive change to the Argus family”.

“The global asset management business is a strong focus for us and we are committed to providing our clients with the best solutions possible,” he said.

Argus said the agreement was a first for its asset management group, which it owns about 20 per cent of.

The Australian Financial Services Association (AFSA) said it had concerns about the deal.

“The company has been trying to acquire other companies, including financial services companies, and has not yet made an acquisition in the industry,” AFSA managing director Rob O’Neill said.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Argos is also considering other acquisitions, the AFSA said.