Wells Fargo moves to restructure its wealth management unit
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- The consolidation will reduce the number of regions in Wells Fargo’s private customer group to eight, from 12.
- This represents another change designed to help the company become a “flatter, more agile organization,” he says.
- The change has been happening “for a long time,” explains Danny Sarch, director of the recruitment firm Leitner Sarch Consultants.
In another move to reduce the structure of its wealth management business, Wells Fargo has announced plans to reduce the number of regions of its private client groups from 12 to eight.
The news comes about a week after Wells Fargo announced the sale of its asset management unit, which includes some $ 603 billion in assets and 450 investment professionals, to private equity firms GTCR and Reverence. Capital Partners for $ 2.1 billion.
The latest move represents one more change that Danny Sarch, president of the recruitment firm Leitner Sarch Consultants, has called “a long time ago.” The consolidation reflects the new management and leadership of the company, which “inevitably leads to cost reductions,” he told ThinkAdvisor on Friday.
Wells Fargo’s fourth quarter financial and wealth advisor count was 13,513, down from 14,414 a year earlier and 13,793 in the previous quarter. These advisers had average annual fees and commissions of $ 1.013 million compared to $ 1.002 million a year ago and $ 943,000 in the previous quarter.
In his third quarter financial reportWells Fargo said it has 12,908 financial advisers, down 815, or 6%, from a year ago and 391, or 3%, from the previous quarter.
On October 31, Wells Fargo Advisors’ financial advisor workforce was down 2,178 advisors, or 14%, from September 30, 2016, when news of its fake accounts scandal was widely circulated.
The unit’s total assets stood at $ 2 trillion as of December 31, 2020, up 6% from a year ago. Excluding asset management operations, assets stood at $ 1.4 trillion.
Once the changes have taken place, the eight new division heads will report to John Alexander, head of the regional network for the client relations group of Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management, which includes Wells Fargo Advisors, The Private Bank and Abbot Downing.
The leaders are Rich Getzoff for the East division; Kent Caldwell-Meeks, Midwest; Mike Carroll, Northeast; Susan Mayo, North; Kevin Kitchin, North Pacific; Dave Altshuler, South Pacific; Keith Vanderveen, South East; and Alberto Gonzalez Saint Geours, South.
However, given that Wells Fargo does not immediately enter the new divisional structure, the division heads will remain in their current roles for the time being.