Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf has revamped the bank's leadership with nearly 90 senior hires from JPM, BNY, and other firms. Here's our exclusive look at the stunning overhaul.
- Wells Fargo's management has changed significantly since CEO Charlie Scharf joined in 2019.
- Insider has tracked in the deepest detail yet how he overhauled leadership after years of scandal.
- Wells has hired many prominent executives from JPMorgan, Scharf's longtime former firm.
Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf has quietly transformed the upper ranks of the fourth-biggest US bank since joining in 2019.
Since the bank's wide-ranging sales practices scandal first erupted in 2016, Wells has seen two CEOs resign and rounds of top leadership leave the bank. But Scharf, a one-time protege of JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Wells' first outsider CEO since the scandal broke, has been taking that to the next level.
"Our management team is fundamentally different today than what it was a year and a half ago," he told analysts during a conference in May.
Four months into Scharf's tenure in early 2020, Wells Fargo overhauled its internal reporting structure to more tightly control risk and promote accountability. On Scharf's watch it has also sold parts of itself, like its asset management and corporate trust businesses, in an effort to cut costs and focus on core businesses like consumer banking.
Wells has now brought in nearly 90 executives from outside the bank since the beginning of 2019, replacing leaders in existing roles or creating new positions like those focused on risk management, an Insider analysis showed. More than half of the firm's 18-person operating committee is new, with Scharf and 10 other members who are new to the company since fall 2019.
"We're appropriately recognizing the great talent that exists here, but bringing people from the outside that have a different set of experiences which are additive, and I feel great about the team that we have in place today," Scharf said in May.
Scharf has hired heavily from his past employers: JPMorgan, the largest US bank by assets, and Bank of New York Mellon, the largest custody bank.
"Typically if you've been in the industry a long time, you go with people you know, for obvious reasons," Charles Elson, a finance professor at the University of Delaware, told Insider. "You have confidence in them, you know they can get the job done."
He served as CFO of Bank One under longtime mentor Dimon until JPMorgan bought it in 2004. He was with JPMorgan for nine years, rising to run the bank's retail operations. He then ran Visa for four years, and left to run BNY Mellon in 2017 until 2019.
Insider reviewed executive remarks, press releases, and earnings call transcripts, and spoke with experts about the bank and corporate governance to visualize how the bank's management has changed since Scharf took over.
Wells has sought to rebuild its brand and convince regulators it has improved risk management since a phony-accounts scandal erupted in 2016.
Federal and local authorities found that Wells Fargo employees, under pressure to reach unrealistic sales goals set by supervisors, opened millions of fraudulent accounts without customers' knowledge.
The Federal Reservein February 2018 imposed an unprecedented asset cap limiting the bank's growth, in addition to other consent orders from regulators. The bank created a marketing slogan three years ago: "Established 1852, re-established 2018."
In February, Bloomberg reported that Fed officials had quietly signaled approval for Wells Fargo's overhaul plan, but the bank remains under the asset cap.
Scharf has generally been "methodical" about hiring key leaders at Wells Fargo, said Ken Leon, director of equity research at CFRA Research.
"The challenge becomes, in terms of being a change agent for culture or best practices, for the senior leadership team to have the right people in place as you go down to the second and third tiers of senior leadership," he said.
The board's changing face
Wells's board has also transformed. When the bank's growth cap was imposed in 2018, the Fed said that Wells would replace four of its board members that year.
Half of the board, including Scharf, have joined since 2019. In early August, Steven Black, a board member since 2020 and co-CEO of private-equity firm Bregal Investments, was tapped to replace Charles Noski as chairman.
Black and Scharf have known each other for years: Black served on BNY Mellon's board while Scharf was CEO, and they overlapped while at JPMorgan.
Wells Fargo's latest regulatory stumble puts CEO in hot seat
Wells Fargo is facing a fresh round of questions about its ongoing regulatory troubles in the wake of a recent setback that fostered doubts about the bank’s progress in satisfying its regulators.
During the bank’s third-quarter earnings call, analysts peppered CEO Charlie Scharf with queries about how quickly the bank may resolve regulatory actions over past consumer abuses.
In September, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency hit Wells with a new $250 million penalty, citing continued problems in its home lending unit and violations of a 2018 consent order.
“What do you need to do differently, especially as a management team?” JPMorgan Chase analyst Vivek Juneja asked Scharf. He was seeking — but did not receive — a more specific timeline than the “several years” that Scharf said it may take for Wells to “close the remaining gaps.”
Wells Fargo is operating under several regulatory consent orders, most notably an asset cap the Federal Reserve Board imposed in 2018. The cap prevents the San Francisco megabank from growing beyond roughly $1.95 trillion of assets.
Deutsche Bank analyst Matt O’Connor asked Scharf whether investors should expect another “speed bump or potential landmine” in the near future.
Scharf, who joined Wells Fargo in 2019, responded that the bank is focused on ensuring that “we minimize the likelihood of a landmine.” But he repeated a remark he’s made previously — that the bank’s progress may be accompanied by negative developments.
Earlier in the call, Scharf noted that he has overhauled Wells Fargo’s leadership team, and he highlighted the recent expiration of a 2016 consent order with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over retail sales practices.
“I believe we're making meaningful progress, and I remain confident in our ability to close the remaining gaps over the next several years,” Scharf said. “Having said that, it continues to be the case that we are likely to have setbacks along the way.”
Wells Fargo is seeking to take advantage of strengthening loan demand, and Scharf downplayed the impact that the Fed’s asset cap could have on the bank’s ability to do so.
Wells is “as open for business as anyone on the asset side” of the balance sheet, which the bank can adjust to ensure it is able to meet clients’ borrowing needs, he said.
“When you're out, you know, hustling for business, we're certainly able to fulfill their needs,” Scharf said, referring to both consumer and corporate clients.
In response to a question about whether the Fed’s asset cap might affect Wells Fargo’s lending aspirations, Chief Financial Officer Michael Santomassimo said the bank has “plenty of capacity to grow” by removing cash that is currently sitting at the Fed or by selling securities if needed.
In remarks last month, Fed Chair Jerome Powell declined to give a timeline on ending Wells Fargo’s asset cap, telling reporters that the restrictions will stay in place until the bank can “fix its widespread and pervasive problems.”
Kenneth Leon, director of equity research at CFRA, said that he is optimistic about what he views as Wells Fargo’s “turnaround story,” though he noted that the asset cap remains a major question mark.
“They’re beginning to change culture, they have senior leaders that know what they’re doing — most of them came from the outside,” Leon said in an interview. “Now they’ve got to spread the word and get execution from middle management. That takes time.”
Wells Fargo received mostly positive marks from analysts on its third-quarter financial results, which reflected both progress on its cost-cutting initiative and a slight rebound in loan growth compared to the prior quarter.
Wells Fargo’s loan book grew larger for the first time since the first quarter of 2020. The bank ended the third quarter with $862.8 billion in total loans, roughly a $10.5 billion increase from the prior quarter.
Banks have been struggling to increase their loan balances during the pandemic, partly due to larger savings and government relief funds that have enabled consumers to reduce their credit lines.
Wells reported net income of $5.1 billion, or $1.17 per share, in the quarter, up from $3.2 billion, or 70 cents per share, in the same period last year. The results were boosted by a $1.7 billion decrease in the company’s allowance for credit losses.
American multinational banking and financial services company
For other uses, see Wells Fargo (disambiguation).
Company logo since 2019
Wells Fargo's corporate headquarters complex in San Francisco, California
|Founded||1929 (92 years ago) (1929) in Minneapolis, U.S. (as Northwest Bancorporation)|
1983 (as Norwest Corporation)
1998 (as Wells Fargo & Company)
|Founders||(Wells Fargo Bank)|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S. (corporate);|
New York, NY (operational)
Number of locations
|Products||Asset management, banking, commodities, credit cards, equities trading, insurance, investment management, mortgage loans, mutual funds, private equity, risk management, wealth management|
|Revenue||US$72.34 billion (2020)|
|US$581 million (2020)|
|US$3.30 billion (2020)|
|Total assets||US$1.955 trillion (2020)|
|Total equity||US$185.9 billion (2020)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California, operational headquarters in Manhattan, and managerial offices throughout the United States and internationally. The company has operations in 35 countries with over 70 million customers globally. It is considered a systemically important financial institution by the Financial Stability Board.
The firm's primary subsidiary is Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a national bank chartered in Wilmington, Delaware which designates its main office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is the fourth largest bank in the United States by total assets and is one of the largest as ranked by bank deposits and market capitalization. Along with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, Wells Fargo is one of the "Big Four Banks" of the United States. It has 8,050 branches and 13,000 ATMs. It is one of the most valuable bank brands.
Wells Fargo in its present form is a result of a merger between the original Wells Fargo & Company and Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation in 1998. While Norwest was the nominal survivor, the merged company took the better-known Wells Fargo name and moved to Wells Fargo's hub in San Francisco, while its banking subsidiary merged with Wells Fargo's Sioux Falls-based banking subsidiary. With the 2008 acquisition of Charlotte-based Wachovia, Wells Fargo became a coast-to-coast bank. Wells Fargo is ranked 7th on the Forbes Global 2000 list of largest public companies in the world and ranked 37th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in the US. The company has been the subject of several investigations by regulators. On February 2, 2018, due to the Wells Fargo account fraud scandal, the Federal Reserve barred Wells Fargo from growing its nearly $2 trillion-asset base any further until the company fixes its internal problems to the satisfaction of the Federal Reserve. In September 2021, Wells Fargo incurred further fines from the United States Justice Department charging fraudulent behavior by the bank against foreign-exchange currency trading customers.
For history before 1998, see Wells Fargo (1852–1998). For history after 1998, see History of Wells Fargo.
In 1852, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo, the two founders of American Express, formed Wells Fargo & Company to provide express and banking services to California, which was growing rapidly due to the California Gold Rush.
In March 1860, Wells Fargo gained control Butterfield Overland Mail Company, after Congress failed to pass the annual post office appropriation bill, thereby leaving the post office with no way to pay for the Overland Mail Company's services, and leaving Overland no way to pay Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo then operated the western portion of the Pony Express.
In 1866, the "Grand consolidation" united Wells Fargo, Holladay, and Overland Mail stage lines under the Wells Fargo name.
In 1872, Lloyd Tevis, a friend of the Central Pacific "Big Four" and holder of rights to operate an express service over the Transcontinental Railroad, became president of the company after acquiring a large stake, a position he held until 1892.
In 1892, John J. Valentine, Sr., a long time Wells Fargo employee, was made president of the company. Valentine died in late December 1901 and was succeeded as president by Dudley Evans on January 2, 1902.
In 1905, Wells Fargo separated its banking and express operations; Wells Fargo's bank merged with the Nevada National Bank to form the Wells Fargo Nevada National Bank.
In 1918, as a wartime measure, the United States government nationalized Wells Fargo's express franchise into a federal agency known as the US Railway Express Agency (REA). The federal government took control of the express company. The bank began rebuilding but with a focus on commercial markets. After the war, the REA was privatized and continued service until 1975.
In 1923, Wells Fargo Nevada merged with the Union Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank & Union Trust Company.
In 1929, Northwest Bancorporation was formed as a banking association.
The company did well during the Great Depression; during a Bank Holiday in March 1933, the company actually gained $2 million of deposits.
In 1954, Wells Fargo & Union Trust shortened its name to Wells Fargo Bank.
In 1960, Wells Fargo merged with American Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company.
In 1962, Wells Fargo American Trust shortened its name to Wells Fargo Bank.
In 1968, Wells Fargo was converted to a federal banking charter, becoming Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo merges with Henry Trione's Sonoma Mortgage in a $10.8 million stock transfer, making Trione the largest shareholder in Wells Fargo until Warren Buffett and Walter Annenberg surpassed him.
In 1969, Wells Fargo & Company holding company was formed, with Wells Fargo Bank as its main subsidiary.
In 1982, Northwest Bancorporation acquired consumer finance firm Dial Finance, which was renamed Norwest Financial Service the following year.
In 1983, Northwest Bancorporation was renamed Norwest Corporation.
In September 1983, a Wells Fargo armored truck depot in West Hartford, Connecticut was the victim of the White Eagle robbery, involving an insider who worked as an armored truck guard, in the largest US bank theft to date, with $7.1 million stolen and two co-workers tied up. The robbery was carried out with the support of the government of Cuba and the cash was initially moved to Mexico City.
In 1986, Wells Fargo acquired Crocker National Bank from Midland Bank.
In 1987, Wells Fargo acquired the personal trust business of Bank of America.
In 1988, Wells Fargo acquired Barclays Bank of California from Barclays plc.
In 1991, Wells Fargo acquired 130 branches in California from Great American Bank for $491 million.
In May 1995, Wells Fargo became the first major US financial services firm to offer internet banking.
In 1996, Wells Fargo acquired First Interstate Bancorp for $11.6 billion. Integration went poorly as many executives left.
In 1998, Wells Fargo Bank was acquired by Norwest Corporation of Minneapolis, with the combined company assuming the Wells Fargo name.
In 2000, Wells Fargo Bank acquired National Bank of Alaska. It also acquired First Security Corporation.
In 2001, Wells Fargo acquired H.D. Vest Financial Services for $128 million, but sold it in 2015 for $580 million.
In June 2007, John Stumpf was named chief executive officer of the company and Richard Kovacevich remained as chairman.
In 2007, Wells Fargo acquired Greater Bay Bancorp, which had $7.4 billion in assets, in a $1.5 billion transaction. It also acquired Placer Sierra Bank. It also acquired CIT Group's construction unit.
In 2008, Wells Fargo acquired United Bancorporation of Wyoming.
In 2008, Wells Fargo acquired Century Bancshares of Texas.
On October 3, 2008, after Wachovia turned down an inferior offer from Citigroup, Wachovia agreed to be bought by Wells Fargo for about $14.8 billion in stock. On October 4, 2008, a New York state judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the transaction from going forward while the competing offer from Citigroup was sorted out. Citigroup alleged that it had an exclusivity agreement with Wachovia that barred Wachovia from negotiating with other potential buyers. The injunction was overturned late in the evening on October 5, 2008, by New York state appeals court. Citigroup and Wells Fargo then entered into negotiations brokered by the FDIC to reach an amicable solution to the impasse. Those negotiations failed. Citigroup was unwilling to take on more risk than the $42 billion that would have been the cap under the previous FDIC-backed deal (with the FDIC incurring all losses over $42 billion). Citigroup did not block the merger, but sought damages of $60 billion for breach of an alleged exclusivity agreement with Wachovia.
On October 28, 2008, Wells Fargo received $25 billion of funds via the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in the form of a preferred stock purchase by the United States Department of the Treasury. As a result of requirements of the government stress tests, the company raised $8.6 billion in capital in May 2009. On December 23, 2009, Wells Fargo redeemed $25 billion of preferred stock issued to the United States Department of the Treasury. As part of the redemption of the preferred stock, Wells Fargo also paid accrued dividends of $131.9 million, bringing the total dividends paid to $1.441 billion since the preferred stock was issued in October 2008.
In April 2009, Wells Fargo acquired North Coast Surety Insurance Services.
In 2011, the company hired 25 investment bankers from Citadel LLC.
In April 2012, Wells Fargo acquired Merlin Securities. In December 2012, it was rebranded as Wells Fargo Prime Services.
In December 2012, Wells Fargo acquired a 35% stake in The Rock Creek Group LP. The stake was increased to 65% in 2014 but sold back to management in July 2018.
In 2015, Wells Fargo Rail acquired GE Capital Rail Services and merged in with First Union Rail. In late 2015, Wells Fargo acquired three GE units focused on business loans equipment financing.
In March 2017, Wells Fargo announced a plan to offer smartphone-based transactions with mobile wallets including Wells Fargo Wallet, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
In June 2018, Wells Fargo sold all 52 of its physical bank branch locations in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to Flagstar Bank.
In September 2018, Wells Fargo announced it would cut 26,450 jobs by 2020 to reduce costs by $4 billion.
In March 2019, CEO Tim Sloan resigned amidst the Wells Fargo account fraud scandal and former general counsel C. Allen Parker became interim CEO.
In July 2019, Principal Financial Group acquired the company's Institutional Retirement & Trust business.
On September 27, 2019, Charles Scharf was announced as the firm's new CEO.
In 2020, the company sold its student loan portfolio.
In May 2021, the company sold its Canadian Direct Equipment Finance business to Toronto-Dominion Bank.
In 2021, the company sold its asset management division, Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) to private equity firms GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners for $2.1 billion. WFAM had $603 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020, of which 33% was invested in money market funds. WFAM was rebranded as Allspring Global Investments.
In 2009, Wells Fargo ranked 1st among banks and insurance companies, and 13th overall, in Newsweek Magazine's inaugural "Green Rankings" of the country's 500 largest companies.
In 2013, the company was recognized by the EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership as a Climate Leadership Award winner, in the category "Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate)"; this recognition was for the company's aim to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its US operations by 35% by 2020 versus 2008 levels.
In 2017, Wells Fargo ranked 182nd out of 500 in Newsweek Magazine's "Green Rankings" of the largest US companies;
Newsweek's 2020 listing of "America's Most Responsible Companies" did not include Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo has provided more than $10 billion in financing for environmentally beneficial business opportunities, including supporting commercial-scale solar photovoltaic projects and utility-scale wind projects nationwide.
In 2010, Wells Fargo launched what it believes to be the first blog among its industry peers to report on its environmental stewardship and to solicit feedback and ideas from its stakeholders.
Wells Fargo History Museum
The company operates the Wells Fargo History Museum at 420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco. Displays include original stagecoaches, photographs, gold nuggets and mining artifacts, the Pony Express, telegraph equipment, and historic bank artifacts. The museum also has a gift shop. In January 2015, armed robbers in an SUV smashed through the museum's glass doors and stole gold nuggets. The company previously operated other museums but those have since closed.
Operations and services
Consumer Banking and Lending
The Consumer Banking and Lending segment includes Regional Banking, Diversified Products, and Consumer Deposits groups, as well as Wells Fargo Customer Connection (formerly Wells Fargo Phone Bank, Wachovia Direct Access, the National Business Banking Center, and Credit Card Customer Service). Wells Fargo also has around 2,000 stand-alone mortgage branches throughout the country. There are also mini-branches located inside of other buildings, which are almost exclusively grocery stores, that usually contain ATMs, basic bank teller services, and an office for private meetings with customers.
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the second largest retail mortgage originator in the United States, originating one out of every four home loans. Wells Fargo services $1.8 trillion in home mortgages, the one of the largest servicing portfolios in the US.
Wells Fargo has various divisions, including Wells Fargo Rail, that finance and lease equipment to different types of companies.
Wealth and Investment Management
Wells Fargo offers investment products through its subsidiaries, Wells Fargo Investments, LLC, and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, as well as through national broker/dealer firms. The company also serves high-net-worth individuals through its private bank and family wealth group.
Wells Fargo Advisors is the brokerage subsidiary of Wells Fargo, located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is the third-largest brokerage firm in the United States as of the third quarter of 2010 with $1.1 trillion retail client assets under management.
Wells Fargo Advisors was known as Wachovia Securities until May 1, 2009, when it was renamed following Wells Fargo's acquisition of Wachovia Corporation.
Wells Fargo Securities (WFS) is the investment banking division of Wells Fargo & Co. headquartered in Charlotte, with other U.S. offices in New York, Minneapolis, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and with international offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo.
Wells Fargo Securities was established in 2009 after the acquisition of Wachovia Securities. It provides merger and acquisition, high yield, leveraged finance, equity underwriting, private placement, loan syndication, risk management, and public finance services
A key part of Wells Fargo's business strategy is cross-selling, the practice of encouraging existing customers to buy additional banking services. Customers inquiring about their checking account balance may be pitched mortgage deals and mortgage holders may be pitched credit card offers in an attempt to increase the customer's profitability to the bank. Other banks have attempted to emulate Wells Fargo's cross-selling practices (described by The Wall Street Journal as a hard sell technique).
Wells Fargo has banking services throughout the world, with overseas offices in Hong Kong, London, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Toronto. Back-offices are in India and the Philippines with more than 20,000 staff.
In 2010, hedge fund administrator Citco purchased the trust company operation of Wells Fargo in the Cayman Islands.
Wells Fargo operates under Charter #1, the first national bank charter issued in the United States. This charter was issued to First National Bank of Philadelphia on June 20, 1863, by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Traditionally, acquiring banks assume the earliest issued charter number. Thus, the first charter passed from First National Bank of Philadelphia to Wells Fargo through its 2008 acquisition of Wachovia, which had inherited it through one of its many acquisitions.
Lawsuits, fines and controversies
1981 MAPS Wells Fargo embezzlement scandal
In 1981, it was discovered that a Wells Fargo assistant operations officer, Lloyd Benjamin "Ben" Lewis, had perpetrated one of the largest embezzlements in history, through its Beverly Drive branch. During 1978 - 1981, Lewis had successfully written phony debit and credit receipts to benefit boxing promoters Harold J. Smith (né Ross Eugene Fields) and Sam "Sammie" Marshall, chairman and president, respectively, of Muhammed Ali Professional Sports, Inc. (MAPS), of which Lewis was also listed as a director; Marshall, too, was a former employee of the same Wells Fargo branch as Lewis. In excess of $300,000 was paid to Lewis, who pled guilty to embezzlement and conspiracy charges in 1981, and testified against his co-conspirators for a reduced five-year sentence. (Boxer Muhammed Ali had received a fee for the use of his name, and had no other involvement with the organization.)
Higher costs charged to African-American and Hispanic borrowers
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against Wells Fargo on July 31, 2009, alleging that the bank steers African Americans and Hispanics into high-cost subprime loans. A Wells Fargo spokesman responded that "The policies, systems, and controls we have in place – including in Illinois – ensure race is not a factor..." An affidavit filed in the case stated that loan officers had referred to black mortgage-seekers as "mud people," and the subprime loans as "ghetto loans." According to Beth Jacobson, a loan officer at Wells Fargo interviewed for a report in The New York Times, "We just went right after them. Wells Fargo mortgage had an emerging-markets unit that specifically targeted black churches because it figured church leaders had a lot of influence and could convince congregants to take out subprime loans." The report presented data from the city of Baltimore, where more than half the properties subject to foreclosure on a Wells Fargo loan from 2005 to 2008 now stand vacant. And 71 percent of those are in predominantly black neighborhoods. Wells Fargo agreed to pay $125 million to subprime borrowers and $50 million in direct down payment assistance in certain areas, for a total of $175 million.
Failure to monitor suspected money laundering
In a March 2010 agreement with US federal prosecutors, Wells Fargo acknowledged that between 2004 and 2007 Wachovia had failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers, including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine into Mexico.
In August 2010, Wells Fargo was fined by United States district court judge William Alsup for overdraft practices designed to "gouge" consumers and "profiteer" at their expense, and for misleading consumers about how the bank processed transactions and assessed overdraft fees.
Settlement and fines regarding mortgage servicing practices
On February 9, 2012, it was announced that the five largest mortgage servicers (Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Government and 49 states. The settlement, known as the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS), required the servicers to provide about $26 billion in relief to distressed homeowners and in direct payments to the federal and state governments. This settlement amount makes the NMS the second largest civil settlement in U.S. history, only trailing the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The five banks were also required to comply with 305 new mortgage servicing standards. Oklahoma held out and agreed to settle with the banks separately.
On April 5, 2012, a federal judge ordered Wells Fargo to pay $3.1 million in punitive damages over a single loan, one of the largest fines for a bank ever for mortgaging service misconduct, after the bank improperly charged Michael Jones, a New Orleans homeowner, with $24,000 in mortgage fees, after the bank misallocated payments to interest instead of principal. Elizabeth Magner, a federal bankruptcy judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana, cited the bank's behavior as "highly reprehensible", stating that Wells Fargo has taken advantage of borrowers who rely on the bank's accurate calculations. The award was affirmed on appeal in 2013.
In May 2013, New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman announced a lawsuit against Wells Fargo over alleged violations of the national mortgage settlement. Schneidermann claimed Wells Fargo had violated rules over giving fair and timely serving. In 2015, a judge sided with Wells Fargo.
SEC fine due to inadequate risk disclosures
On August 14, 2012, Wells Fargo agreed to pay around $6.5 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges that in 2007 it sold risky mortgage-backed securities without fully realizing their dangers.
Lawsuit by FHA over loan underwriting
In 2016, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by underwriting over 100,000 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) backed loans when over half of the applicants did not qualify for the program.
In October 2012, Wells Fargo was sued by United States AttorneyPreet Bharara over questionable mortgage deals.
Lawsuit due to premium inflation on forced place insurance
In April 2013, Wells Fargo settled a suit with 24,000 Florida homeowners alongside insurer QBE Insurance, in which Wells Fargo was accused of inflating premiums on forced-place insurance.
Lawsuit regarding excessive overdraft fees
In May 2013, Wells Fargo paid $203 million to settle class-action litigation accusing the bank of imposing excessive overdraft fees on checking-account customers.
Violation of New York credit card laws
In February 2015, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $4 million, including a $2 million penalty and $2 million in restitution for illegally taking an interest in the homes of borrowers in exchange for opening credit card accounts for the homeowners.
Tax liability and lobbying
In December 2011, Public Campaign criticized Wells Fargo for spending $11 million on lobbying during 2008–2010, while increasing executive pay and laying off workers, while having no federal tax liability due to losses from the Great Recession. However, in 2013, the company paid $9.1 billion in income taxes.
Prison industry investment
Main article: Prison–industrial complex
The company has invested its clients' funds in GEO Group, a multi-national provider of for-profit private prisons. By March 2012, its stake had grown to more than 4.4 million shares worth $86.7 million. As of November 2012, Wells Fargo divested 33% of its holdings of GEO's stock, reducing its stake to 4.98% of Geo Group's common stock, below the threshold of which it must disclose further transactions.
Discrimination against African Americans in hiring
In August 2020, the company agreed to pay $7.8 million in back wages for allegedly discriminating against 34,193 African Americans in hiring for tellers, personal bankers, customer sales and service representatives, and administrative support positions. The company agreed to provide jobs to 580 of the affected applicants.
In May 2015, Gregory T. Bolan Jr., a stock analyst at Wells Fargo agreed to pay $75,000 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle allegations that he gave Joseph C. Ruggieri, a stock trader, insider information on probable ratings charges. Ruggieri was not convicted of any crime.
Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal
Main article: Wells Fargo account fraud scandal
In September 2016, Wells Fargo was issued a combined total of $185 million in fines for opening over 1.5 million checking and savings accounts and 500,000 credit cards on behalf of customers without their consent. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued $100 million in fines, the largest in the agency's five-year history, along with $50 million in fines from the City and County of Los Angeles, and $35 million in fines from the Office of Comptroller of the Currency. The scandal was caused by an incentive-compensation program for employees to create new accounts. It led to the firing of nearly 5,300 employees and $5 million being set aside for customer refunds on fees for accounts the customers never wanted.Carrie Tolstedt, who headed the department, retired in July 2016 and received $124.6 million in stock, options, and restricted Wells Fargo shares as a retirement package.
On October 12, 2016, John Stumpf, the then chairman and CEO, announced that he would be retiring amidst the scandals. President and Chief Operating Officer Timothy J. Sloan succeeded Stumpf, effective immediately. Following the scandal, applications for credit cards and checking accounts at the bank plummeted. In response to the event, the Better Business Bureau dropped accreditation of the bank. Several states and cities ended business relations with the company.
An investigation by the Wells Fargo board of directors, the report of which was released in April 2017, primarily blamed Stumpf, who it said had not responded to evidence of wrongdoing in the consumer services division, and Tolstedt, who was said to have knowingly set impossible sales goals and refused to respond when subordinates disagreed with them. Wells Fargo coined the phrase, “Go for Gr-Eight” – or, in other words, aim to sell at least 8 products to every customer. The board chose to use a clawback clause in the retirement contracts of Stumpf and Tolstedt to recover $75 million worth of cash and stock from the former executives.
In February 2020, the company agreed to pay $3 billion to settle claims by the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The settlement did not prevent individual employees from being targets of future litigation. The Federal Reserve put a limit to Wells Fargo's assets, as a result of the scandal. In 2020, Wells Fargo sold $100 million in assets to stay under the limit.
Racketeering lawsuit for mortgage appraisal overcharges
In November 2016, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $50 million to settle allegations of overcharging hundreds of thousands of homeowners for appraisals ordered after they defaulted on their mortgage loans. While banks are allowed to charge homeowners for such appraisals, Wells Fargo frequently charged homeowners $95 to $125 on appraisals for which the bank had been charged $50 or less. The plaintiffs had sought triple damages under the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act on grounds that sending invoices and statements with fraudulently concealed fees constituted mail and wire fraud sufficient to allege racketeering.
Financing of Dakota Access Pipeline
Wells Fargo is a lender on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172-mile-long (1,886 km) underground oil pipeline transport system in North Dakota. The pipeline has been controversial regarding its potential impact on the environment.
In February 2017, the city councils of Seattle, Washington and Davis, California voted to move $3 billion of deposits from the bank due to its financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline as well as the Wells Fargo account fraud scandal.
Failure to comply with document security requirements
In December 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined Wells Fargo $5.5 million for failing to store electronic documents in a "write once, read many" format, which makes it impossible to alter or destroy records after they are written.
Doing business with the gun industry and NRA
From December 2012 through February 2018, Wells Fargo reportedly helped two of the biggest firearms and ammunition companies obtain $431.1 million in loans. It also handled banking for the National Rifle Association and provided bank accounts and a $28-million line of credit. In 2020, the company said that it is winding down its business with the National Rifle Association.
Discrimination against female workers
Further information: Glass ceiling
In June 2018, about a dozen female Wells Fargo executives from the wealth management division met in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the minimal presence of women occupying senior roles within the company. The meeting, dubbed "the meeting of 12", represented the majority of the regional managing directors, of which 12 out of 45 were women. Wells Fargo had previously been investigating reports of gender bias in the division in the months leading up to the meeting. The women reported that they had been turned down for top jobs despite their qualifications, and instead the roles were occupied by men. There were also complaints against company president Jay Welker, who is also the head of the Wells Fargo wealth management division, due to his sexist statements regarding female employees. The female workers claimed that he called them "girls" and said that they "should be at home taking care of their children."
Overselling auto insurance
On June 10, 2019, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $385 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of allegedly scamming millions of auto-loan customers into buying insurance they did not need from National General Insurance.
Failure to Supervise Registered Representatives
On August 28, 2020, Wells Fargo agreed to pay a fine of $350,000 as well as $10 million in restitution payments to certain customers after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority accused the company of failing to reasonably supervise two of its registered representatives that recommended that customers invest a high percentage of their assets in high-risk energy securities in 2014 and 2015.
Steering customers to more expensive retirement accounts
In April 2018, the United States Department of Labor launched a probe into whether Wells Fargo was pushing its customers into more expensive retirement plans as well as into retirement funds managed by Wells Fargo itself.
Alteration of documents
In May 2018, the company discovered that its business banking group had improperly altered documents about business clients in 2017 and early 2018.
With CEO John Stumpf paid 473 times more than the median employee, Wells Fargo ranked number 33 among the S&P 500 companies for CEO—employee pay inequality. In October 2014, a Wells Fargo employee earning $15 per hour emailed the CEO—copying 200,000 other employees—asking that all employees be given a $10,000 per year raise taken from a portion of annual corporate profits to address wage stagnation and income inequality. After being contacted by the media, Wells Fargo responded that all employees receive "market competitive" pay and benefits significantly above US federal minimums.
Pursuant to Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, publicly traded companies are required to disclose (1) the median total annual compensation of all employees other than the CEO and (2) the ratio of the CEO's annual total compensation to that of the median employee.
Wells Fargo & Company reported Total CO2e emissions (Direct + Indirect) for the twelve months ending 31 December 2020 at 776 Kt (-87 /-10.1% y-o-y). There has been a consistent declining trend in reported emissions since 2015.
In popular culture
Wells Fargo stagecoaches are mentioned in the song "The Deadwood Stage (Whip-Crack-Away!)" in the 1953 film Calamity Jane performed by Doris Day: "With a fancy cargo, care of Wells and Fargo, Illinois - Boy!".
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Wells Fargo’s new CEO: ‘We will get it done’
March 1, 2020
CEO Charlie Scharf has instilled the company with a sense of urgency in addressing its priorities.
Share this on Facebook now.Share this on Twitter now.Share this on LinkedIn now.Share this with Email now.Share this with Print now.Updated Nov. 30, 2020 | This story has been updated to include leadership changes and major company announcements.
Speaking at his first town hall in October 2019, one week into his role as Wells Fargo CEO, Charlie Scharf’s message for the company was clear: “We all have to demand more from each other. The seriousness of what we do brings tremendous responsibility. Our work has tremendous impact upon people. We need to recognize that and make sure that we're doing everything we can to operate the company to the highest standards of operational excellence.”
Since then, Scharf has focused on doing exactly that. He has put together a leadership team of executives from inside and outside of the company charged with doing the foundational work necessary to build the risk and control infrastructure appropriate for a company the size and complexity of Wells Fargo.
Scharf describes that as “the price of admission for what we do.”
“We all have to demand more from each other. The seriousness of what we do brings tremendous responsibility. Our work has tremendous impact upon people. We need to recognize that and make sure that we're doing everything we can to operate the company to the highest standards of operational excellence.”
Building the right foundation
Scharf brings more than 24 years of leadership experience in the banking and payments industries to Wells Fargo, including CEO roles at Visa and Bank of New York Mellon. He has a demonstrated track record in leading change, driving results, strengthening operational risk and compliance, and innovating amid a rapidly evolving digital landscape. At Wells Fargo, Scharf has stressed urgency, accountability, and execution as what will drive the company forward. He has acknowledged the mistakes that were made in the past and has made addressing Wells Fargo’s regulatory requirements his top priority.
In February, Wells Fargo entered into agreements with the United States Department of Justice and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve these agencies’ investigations into the company’s historical Community Bank sales practices and related disclosures. As part of this resolution, Wells Fargo agreed to make payments totaling $3 billion.
As Scharf acknowledged, “At the time of the sales practices issues, the company did not have in place the appropriate people, structure, processes, controls, or culture to prevent the inappropriate conduct,” he said. “This was inexcusable.” While the settlements mark a significant step in bringing this chapter to a close, Scharf said there’s still more work to be done to rebuild the trust the company lost. “We are committing all necessary resources to ensure that nothing like this happens again, while also driving Wells Fargo forward,” he said.
“The company was not prepared to prevent inappropriate conduct. This was inexcusable, and we must ensure such failings never occur again at Wells Fargo.”
The focus on strengthening the company’s control environment goes beyond just meeting the expectations of its regulators. Scharf sees these changes as fundamental for the business going forward. “Meeting our regulatory requirements remains Wells Fargo’s top priority, because it builds the right foundation for all that lies ahead,” he said. “We recognize that what we want and what regulators want are not different. Our future depends on our ability to get this work done.”
A culture of accountability and operational excellence
Also foundational to the future are the cultural changes Scharf is leading at Wells Fargo. In his messages to the company’s employees, he has encouraged them to embrace candor, deliver on their promises by executing flawlessly, and always do the right thing. “Words are nice, but actions are what matter,” he said.
In his first week, Scharf also signed the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation issued by the Business Roundtable, which acknowledges that businesses are responsible to a broad set of constituents including customers, employees, suppliers, and the communities in which companies operate. He said, “In order to be a great employer, a great and involved partner in the communities where we operate, and contribute in meaningful ways to the growth of the U.S., we must be guided by delivering for our customers every day in a manner that will make us and our stakeholders proud.”
Flatter structure for clearer responsibility and authority
In early February, Scharf unveiled a flatter organizational structure for Wells Fargo, designed to provide leaders with clear authority and responsibility. The new organizational structure has five principal lines of business, each with a CEO who reports directly to Scharf and is represented on the company’s Operating Committee.
As part of the reorganization, Scharf aligned control executives with each of the company’s businesses who will have a dual line of reporting to their respective CEOs and up through a separate operations team. This integrated operations organization is designed to enable the lines of business to work more collaboratively and consistently across the company while ensuring the right level of oversight.
He also announced an enhanced risk management structure with five line-of-business chief risk officers reporting to Chief Risk Officer Mandy Norton and a new head of the Operational Risk Management team.
“These changes create the right structure to build our businesses over the long term and increase our ability to successfully execute on our top priority, which is the risk, regulatory, and control work,” said Scharf.
To help chart the company’s future, major changes have been made at the senior leadership level. Scharf has built a leadership team composed of executives from inside and outside the company who have deep financial services experience and have turned around and run complex financial institutions.
Scharf has also moved quickly to bring in a number of new senior leaders who have been tasked with making fundamental changes to improve the culture of the company. The additions include a new chief financial officer; chief operating officer; CEO of Consumer Lending; CEO of Wealth & Investment Management; head of Operations; vice chair of Public Affairs; lead control executive; general counsel, and head of the newly established Strategy, Digital & Innovation team.
Other hires have been made in key areas across the enterprise, including Cards, Retail and Merchant Services; Corporate Controller; Corporate Communications; Social Impact & Sustainability; Corporate Risk; Government Relations & Public Policy; Sales Practices Oversight & Management; Strategy and Operations Planning; and Technology.
Click or tap to learn about the new leaders at Wells Fargo >>
In addition to the changes made at the senior leadership level, the Board has focused on enhancing its composition, oversight, and governance practices. The Board has conducted a thoughtful, deliberate refreshment process. Over a majority of the Board’s independent directors joined the Board since January 2017, and the Board has rotated six of seven Board committee chair roles. As part of the process, Charles H. Noski was named Board chair on March 9. The retired vice chair and former chief financial officer of Bank of America joined Wells Fargo’s board in June 2019.
Investing in employees and expanding diversity and inclusion actions
Recognizing the criticality of employees in making the changes underway at the company successful, on March 4 Scharf announced that Wells Fargo will be raising the minimum hourly pay in a majority of its U.S. markets. Minimum pay will be tiered based on various factors, including the cost of living in different areas of the country, with the minimum hourly pay ranging from $15 to $20 depending on employee location. The pay increases go into effect in December 2020.
In October, the company announced significant investments to help make health care more affordable for its employees by lowering premiums, copays, and deductibles in many plans. For 2021, medical plan premiums will remain flat for almost 54,000 employees and will be lowered for more than 20,000 employees.
To help employees build their retirement savings, Wells Fargo recently announced a new base contribution of 1% of certified compensation that will be made to the 401(k) Plan accounts for eligible employees whose annual compensation is less than $75,000, which is in addition to the company’s matching contribution and a possible discretionary contribution.
Expanding diversity and inclusion actions
As the May 25 killing of George Floyd ignited calls for social justice around the world, Scharf announced a strengthened company commitment that would result in “meaningful change” toward its ongoing efforts to support diverse communities and foster a company culture that deeply values and respects diversity and inclusion.
On June 16, 2020, he announced goals to:
- Increase Black and African American representation in senior leadership over the next five years
- Expand diverse representation on the Operating Committee
- Institute anti-racism training for all managers.
- Directly tie compensation of Operating Committee members to improvement of diversity and inclusion in their areas of oversight.
In November, Kleber Santos joined the company as head of the newly created Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion, reporting directly to Scharf. The creation of this elevated role was one of several key initiatives Scharf announced in June 2020 as part of the company’s expanded commitments to diversity and inclusion.
Santos will be responsible for leading efforts to make the company a place where diversity is reflected at all levels and in every facet of the company’s operations, processes, and programs. He will be focused on creating a more diverse and inclusive working environment and partnering with Wells Fargo’s business leaders to deliver products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of diverse customer segments.
Wells Fargo has also announced its commitment to support a newly announced set of initiatives by the Business Roundtable focused on racial justice, equity, and efforts to create a more inclusive financial system.
Responding to the pandemic crisis
Scharf has led Wells Fargo’s far-reaching response to the COVID-19 crisis, including payment relief for millions of consumers, small businesses, and commercial customers; extra financial compensation for many employees, including those whose jobs require in-person services to customers; and a $23 million donation to the company’s WE Care Fund for employees who face financial hardship.
Under his leadership, the company has also helped nearly 194,000 businesses receive $10.5 billion in loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program and donated approximately $400 million – its total gross PPP fee revenue — to nonprofits that assist small businesses. Among other moves, it donated $175 million to nonprofits that support communities and populations that are hardest hit by COVID-19 and thousands of grants to nonprofits that provide housing assistance the vulnerable populations.
“While the path to recovery from the pandemic is uncertain, the work in front of us is clear and demanding,” Scharf said. “Our No. 1 priority remains building out the risk and control environment that will ultimately allow us to meet our regulatory obligations. Nothing can or will stand in the way of this work.
“We must also do what it takes to become more efficient regardless of our operating environment, which will allow us to be a source of strength for customers, communities, and employees,” he added. “I know many have worked hard on these efforts, but we have not yet accomplished what’s required, and there is more difficult work ahead. To live up to our potential, we must all take part in making the cultural and structural changes needed.”
The opportunity ahead
While Wells Fargo is undergoing a tremendous amount of change, Scharf is quick to point out that it was his admiration for the company that led him to join as CEO, and he still sees the outstanding potential that lies ahead.
Part of the company’s potential lies in its ability to help customers achieve their own potential. An example of that can be seen in Wells Fargo’s recently introduced Clear Access Banking, a checkless account that helps customers avoid spending more than the amount available in their account without incurring overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees. It is designed for consumers seeking an account to help manage their spending, or who are new to banking, such as young adults. Clear Access Banking also has been certified by the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund for meeting its Bank On National Account Standards for safe and appropriate financial products that can help people enter or re-enter the mainstream financial system.
The account is part of Wells Fargo’s broader effort to simplify its products and services, and make banking convenient and easy to understand. The new offering is a way for the company to help satisfy the financial needs of more customers and further expand access to mainstream banking services, said Mary Mack, CEO of Consumer and Small Business Banking.
Earlier this year, the company also announced plans to provide access to a suite of credit products to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, beginning this year and continuing into 2021. The efforts includes access to education loans, personal lines and loans, credit cards, auto loans, and small business credit. In addition, Wells Fargo will make mortgage and home equity loans to certain eligible DACA customers except where prohibited by specific investors. This expanded credit access was informed by ongoing engagement with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), which helped give the bank valuable insight into the needs of young DACA individuals.
“I firmly believe we have a great future in front of us,” Scharf said. “We have a group of businesses that are the envy of the industry. We have great market positions in an industry that will continue to grow as we enable our customers to succeed financially. We can and will do the work necessary to create the right environment inside the company to allow us to grow successfully. We know we have some challenges in front of us. I feel very confident that we know what we have to do, and we will get it done.”
- Click or tap to view a timeline of our progress
- July 2020
- July 21 — Scharf announces that Mike Santomassimo will join the company in fall 2020 as Chief Financial Officer, reporting to the CEO and serving on the company’s Operating Committee.
- July 20 — Scharf announces that Ather Williams III will join Wells Fargo as Head of Strategy, Digital and Innovation, leading innovation priorities to drive transformation, reporting to the CEO and serving on the company’s Operating Committee.
- June 2020
- June 24 — David Owen joins the Chief Operating Officer team as Wells Fargo’s Chief Administrative Officer to drive execution and operational excellence.
- June 22 — Wells Fargo announces Michael Lipsitz as Chief Policy Advisor, leading corporate policy development and implementation as a member of the Public Affairs team. On Oct. 21, 2020, it was announced that Lipsitz would join the Chief Operating Officer (COO) organization as Chief Regulatory and Policy Affairs Executive.
- June 22 — Scharf announces that Barri Rafferty will join Wells Fargo as Head of Corporate Communications and a member of the Public Affairs leadership team.
- June 17 — Scharf announces that Barry Sommers will join Wells Fargo as CEO of Wealth & Investment Management, overseeing Wells Fargo Advisors, Private Wealth Management — comprised of The Private Bank and Abbot Downing — Wells Fargo Asset Management, reporting to the CEO and serving on the company’s Operating Committee.
- May 2020
- May 29 — Scharf announces an enhanced organizational structure to manage risk across the Company, including a new model with five line-of-business Chief Risk Officers reporting to Chief Risk Officer Mandy Norton. He also announced that Kevin Reen will join Wells Fargo as CRO of Consumer Lending, and Bill Juliano as Head of the Operational Risk Management team.
- May 18 — Brian Smith joins the Public Affairs leadership team as the head of Government Relations & Public Policy, leading Federal and State and Local Government Relations, Public Policy, Political Programs, and External Relations.
- May 13 — Scharf announces Nate Hurst will join the Public Affairs leadership team to lead Corporate Responsibility, Philanthropy, Community Relations, and Sustainability. He will also serve as President of the Wells Fargo Foundation.
- July 2020
- April 2020
- April 28 — Steven D. Black is elected to the Wells Fargo Board of Directors.
- April 27 — Scharf announces that Lester Owens will join the COO leadership team as Head of Operations, a new role responsible for building integration across Wells Fargo’s business operations functions serving on the Operating Committee.
- March 2020
- March 13 — Scharf announces that Ellen Patterson will join Wells Fargo as general counsel, overseeing all legal affairs as a member of the Operating Committee and reporting to the CEO.
- March 10 — Scharf announces that Wells Fargo plans to invest up to $50 million in African American Minority Depository Institutions. This investment is part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to African American communities.
- March 9 — Wells Fargo announced Chuck Noski as new Chair of the Wells Fargo Board of Directors following the resignation of Betsy Duke, who had been Chair; Jim Quigley also announced his resignation from the Board. Noski is a retired vice chairman and former chief financial officer of Bank of America Corporation.
- March 6 — Scharf announces a set of initiatives to accelerate the company’s building of a more diverse and inclusive workforce, including programs designed to increase diverse representation in senior-level roles.
- March 5 — Wells Fargo announces it will provide access to a suite of credit products to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients beginning this year and continuing into 2021.
- March 3 — Wells Fargo announces plans to introduce two bank accounts in 2021 that expand access to mainstream banking services: a checkless, no-overdraft-fee account, and an account that includes checks and will cap overdraft or insufficient funds fees at one per month.
- February 2020
- Feb. 18 — Scharf unveils an updated Risk Management Framework, a foundational document that includes clear and concise instructions on the approach to risk management across the company.
- Feb. 11
- Feb 11 — Andrew Heller joins as Strategy and Operations Planning leader, reporting to COO Scott Powell.
- Feb. 11 — Scharf announces that Mike Weinbach will join as CEO of Consumer Lending, which includes many of the products Wells Fargo’s customers interact with most closely — from home and auto loans to personal lines of credit.
- Feb. 11 — Scharf forms the new Corporate Strategy, Digital Platform & Innovation team to enhance the company’s focus on planning for the digital future and investing in the customer experience. The company is conducting a search for this new leader role, which will report to the CEO.
- Feb. 11 — Scharf unveils a flatter organizational structure that reorganizes leader responsibilities. This includes creating five principal lines of business to ensure clear authority, accountability, and responsibility. All line of business leaders will report directly to Scharf and will sit on Wells Fargo’s Operating Committee.
- Feb. 4 — Michael Cleary joins the COO leadership team as head of Sales Practices Oversight and Management to help ensure Wells Fargo has the right sales practices policies and procedures in place and customers have the necessary support when problems arise.
- January 2020 — Wells Fargo launches a transformational human resources program, New Experience for the Team (NEXT) HR. Under this multiyear program, the company will invest in leading technology and create policies to create a consistent team member experience globally.
- Jan. 21
- Jan. 21 — The Human Rights Campaign also awards Wells Fargo a 100% rating and the designation of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” for the 17th year in a row.
- Jan. 21 — Wells Fargo receives top honors for the second consecutive year by the Bloomberg 2020 Gender-Equality Index.
- Jan. 21
- December 2019
- Dec. 13 — Muneera Carr joins as Controller to manage corporate tax, accounting, and reporting, as well as activities such as financial controls and oversight policies, and processes for the company’s business groups and enterprise functions.
- Dec. 9
- Dec. 9 — Scott Powell joins as Chief Operating Officer, a new position created by Scharf to oversee regulatory execution and relations, enterprise shared services, and a range of operational functions across the company, and serve on the company’s Operating Committee.
- Dec. 9 — Scharf also announces plans to expand his leadership team to further build the company’s operations and controls, including a lead control executive to oversee control personnel across the enterprise, and a strategy and operations planning leader.
- Dec. 2 — Christel Kennedy joins as head of Business Continuity and Resiliency to help govern and execute the company’s Business Continuity Program and continue to integrate and strengthen the bank’s Corporate Security infrastructure.
- November 2019
- Nov. 25 — Ray Fischer joins as head of Cards, Retail and Merchant Services.
- Nov. 20 — Scharf announces leadership changes in the Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation Group, including the appointment of Ray Fischer, formerly of JPMorgan Chase, as head of Cards, Retail and Merchant Services.
- Nov. 7 — William M. Daley joins as Vice Chairman of Public Affairs and member of the Operating Committee.
- October 2019
- Oct. 29 — Scharf signs onto Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, a clear statement that businesses are responsible to a broad set of constituents.
- Oct. 21 — Charlie Scharf officially joins as CEO and president of Wells Fargo and outlines his 10 guiding leadership principles, which underscore Wells Fargo’s responsibility to operate with the highest standards of integrity and fulfill commitments to a broad range of stakeholders.
New leaders at Wells Fargo
- Charlie Scharf joins as Wells Fargo CEO and President
On Oct. 21, 2019, Charlie Scharf officially started his role as CEO and president.
With more than 24 years in the banking and payments industries — including most recently holding the position of chairman and CEO of Bank of New York Mellon, and prior to that, CEO of Visa — Scharf has a proven track record of initiating and leading change, driving results, strengthening operational risk and compliance, and innovating amid a rapidly evolving digital landscape, said Wells Fargo Board Chair Betsy Duke. Prior to his roles at BNY Mellon and Visa, Scharf held leadership positions at JPMorgan Chase, Bank One Corp, Citigroup, and Salomon Smith Barney.
“Charlie’s financial and business acumen, integrity, passion for diversity and inclusion, and commitment to strong talent management are important qualities considered by our board’s search committee,” Duke said. “I am delighted to welcome Charlie as our new CEO. Charlie is a proven leader and an experienced CEO who has excelled at strategic leadership and execution and is well-positioned to lead Wells Fargo’s continued transformation.”
- William M. Daley joins as Vice Chairman of Public Affairs
On Nov. 13, 2019, Bill Daley joined as vice chairman of Public Affairs and member of the Operating Committee. In this role, Daley leads Corporate Communications, Government Relations & Public Policy, Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, and Corporate Philanthropy & Community Relations.
Daley brings extensive experience in both the public sector and business, including serving as Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton administration. In addition, he served as Vice Chairman of BNY Mellon and as a member of the bank’s Executive Committee, as Vice Chairman and a member of the Executive Committee at JPMorgan Chase, and as President of SBC Communications (now AT&T).
“My experience with Bill is that he does not think like a banker,” Scharf said. “He is a strong voice who brings perspectives from the public sector that we in business do not generally have but are critical for us as we make decisions. The addition of Bill and this role to our Operating Committee is an important statement that we want different perspectives on our senior-most management committee and that we will think more broadly about our stakeholders as we move forward.”
- Ray Fischer joins as head of Cards, Retail and Merchant Services
On Nov. 25, 2019, Ray Fischer joined to lead Cards, Retail and Merchant Services to lead development of innovative products and services enhancing customer and team member experiences.
“I have worked with Ray for many years, both at JPMorgan Chase and when I was at Visa,” Scharf said. “Ray has worked in financial services for nearly 40 years and has deep expertise in payments, cards, merchant services, and consumer finance.”
Fischer spent 14 years at JPMorgan Chase as chief financial officer of Card, Merchant Services & Auto Finance. While there, he was instrumental in negotiating and executing the Chase Merchant Services partnership with Visa that created a closed-loop payments platform for Chase cardholders and merchants. Following that role, he was vice chairman and administrative officer of the Kessler Group. Most recently, Fischer was a senior advisor to the Aries Financial Group, responsible for consulting with Fortune 1000 companies in the banking, payments, and public utilities industries on mergers and acquisitions, business development, operations, and marketing strategy and execution.
- Christel Kennedy joins as head of Business Continuity and Resiliency
On Dec. 2, 2019, Christel Kennedy joined as head of Business Continuity and Resiliency, reporting to Saul Van Beurden, head of Technology. In this role, she helps define, govern, and execute the company’s Business Continuity Program and continue to integrate and strengthen the bank’s Corporate Security infrastructure.
Since 2015, Kennedy has held several roles at Santander Bank and most recently was the company’s chief operating officer and director of Change Management. During this time, she was responsible for bank operations supporting all consumer and commercial products and services while also overseeing the company’s incident management and business continuity processes.
Prior to joining Santander Bank, Kennedy held numerous technology, risk management, and business operations leadership roles at Citizens Financial Group, Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
“She has hands-on operational experience leading disaster recovery and business continuity planning and a track record of executing and driving transformational change,” Van Beurden said. “She will be a tremendous addition to Wells Fargo.”
- Scott Powell joins as Chief Operating Officer
On Dec. 9, 2019, Scott Powell joined Wells Fargo as Chief Operating Officer, a new position created by Scharf to oversee regulatory execution and relations, enterprise shared services, and a range of operational functions across the company and serves on the bank’s Operating Committee.
Powell most recently was CEO of Santander Holdings USA, where he led the company’s financial turnaround, including resolving significant regulatory issues, implementing customer-focused oversight programs, and improving financial and operating controls.
“I have known Scott for many years, and his tremendous experience, proven track record and unquestioned integrity will make him a great addition to our management team,” Scharf said. “He’s the ideal person to take on this new position as we seek to transform Wells Fargo so that high-quality execution, clear accountability and operational excellence become unquestioned components of our culture.”
- Muneera Carr joins as Controller
On Jan. 6, Muneera Carr joined as Controller, managing corporate tax, accounting, and reporting, as well as controllership activities such as financial controls and oversight policies and processes for the company’s business groups and enterprise functions.
Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Carr was chief financial officer for Comerica, Inc., which she joined in 2010. Carr has also worked in the Office of the Chief Accountant at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and for Bank of America, SunTrust, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas and is a certified public accountant.
“Muneera brings to our Controllers team deep knowledge and expertise that will help drive our continued transformation,” said Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry. “She will be a tremendous and valued addition to Wells Fargo.”
- Michael Cleary joins as head of Sales Practices Oversight and Management
On Feb. 4, Michael Cleary joined as head of Sales Practices Oversight and Management, reporting to Chief Operations Officer Scott Powell, to ensure Wells Fargo has the right policies and procedures in place to prevent and ensure customers have the necessary support when problems arise.
“In this role, Michael will establish an integrated and consistent approach to sales practice monitoring, analytics, and reporting across the company. He will develop the go-forward framework and roadmap to ensure we have in place the right policies and procedures, controls, escalation points, and remediation protocols to comply with the various regulatory requirements and provide industry-leading sales practice oversight,” Powell said.
Cleary brings deep and relevant experience to this newly created role, Powell said. At Santander US, where he was co-president of Santander Bank and head of Consumer and Business Banking, Cleary’s responsibilities included Retail Banking, Business Banking, Home Lending, Wealth Management, Customer Experience, and Operations. Michael served on the CEO’s Executive Committee, the Sales Practices Committee, and the First and Second-Line Risk Committees, and drove key regulatory initiatives. Among his accomplishments were developing the frameworks, policies and procedures, and governance to comply with regulatory guidance for safety and soundness, consumer protection, information security, regulatory compliance, and new business initiatives.
Prior to joining Santander in 2015, Cleary was group executive vice president and head of U.S. Distribution at Citizens Bank. He has also held numerous executive roles at JPMorgan Chase. Cleary has an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
- Mike Weinbach named CEO of Consumer Lending
In May, Mike Weinbach will join as CEO of Consumer Lending, which includes many of the products Wells Fargo’s customers interact with most closely — from home and auto loans to personal lines of credit. He will also serve on the Operating Committee.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract someone with Mike’s experience, skills and knowledge to Wells Fargo,” said Scharf. “He has a broad range of experiences in the consumer space and will be a great addition to our management team.”
Weinbach joins Wells Fargo after 16 years at JPMorgan Chase where he was most recently CEO of Chase Home Lending. Previously at Chase he held leadership roles across Consumer Banking, Business Banking, Home Lending, and Auto Finance in sales, finance, branch management, and operations. Before joining Chase, he founded a business focused on workplace motivation and held positions at Citigroup. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his MBA at Harvard Business School.
“I am excited to join Wells Fargo and appreciate the opportunity to work with this remarkable franchise that serves over 70 million customers,” said Weinbach. “I am passionate about providing outstanding customer experiences and helping customers live better lives. I am eager to work with the Wells Fargo team to do just that.”
- Andrew Heller joins as Strategy and Operations Planning leader
On Feb. 11, Andrew Heller joined as Strategy and Operations Planning leader. Heller joins from Santander US, where he was chief of staff to the CEO and head of transformation.
“Strategy and Operations Planning, led by Andrew Heller, will work with the COO leadership team to help drive our transformation agenda and provide project leadership, planning, and support across the COO team’s priorities,” said Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell.
- Ellen Patterson joins as General Counsel
Effective March 23, Ellen Patterson joins at General Counsel, overseeing all legal affairs as a member of the Operating Committee and reporting to the CEO.
“Ellen is a seasoned lawyer with extensive experience in the financial services industry, where she has had responsibilities for managing and advising on global legal and regulatory compliance risks,” Scharf said. “She will play a critical leadership role on our Operating Committee as we continue to work on our company’s top priority of meeting regulatory expectations.”
Patterson joins Wells Fargo after more than seven years at TD Bank Group, where she most recently served as group head and general counsel responsible for leading the bank’s global Legal, Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering, Corporate Secretary, Global Security & Investigations, and Fraud Risk Management teams. Earlier, she served as general counsel for TD Bank’s U.S. banking operations. For the past two years, she has chaired TD Bank’s global Women in Leadership program, supporting programs and practices to advance the careers of a diverse group of female employees.
Patterson is a graduate of Columbia Law School and received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She has been recognized as one of 25 “Women to Watch” by American Banker in each of the past four years.
- Lester Owens named Head of Operations
Lester Owens will join the COO leadership team in the newly created role of head of operations, responsible for building a more unified, more integrated approach to Wells Fargo’s business operations functions, the company announced April 27. Owens will report to Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell and will serve on the company’s Operating Committee.
“Lester is a highly regarded operations executive with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and a passion for excellence, customer experience, efficiency, and transformation,” said Powell. “While everyone at Wells Fargo shares the responsibility for operational excellence, Lester’s team will enable us to deliver the best experience possible for our customers while driving consistent execution across our business operations functions, including contact center operations, client servicing support, money movements within our businesses, lending operations, and other functions. We will all benefit from having Lester’s deep experience and talent in this critical role.”
Owens joins Wells Fargo from Bank of New York Mellon, where he was Global Head of Operations, responsible for a team of 20,000 employees supporting every stage of the client investment lifecycle, including account creation, trading, clearing and settlement, and asset servicing. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, he spent 10 years at JP Morgan Chase, where he was responsible for Global Wholesale Banking Operations, among other roles. Lester previously led significant operations functions for Deutsche Bank, Citibank, and Bankers Trust. Owens is a graduate of Long Island University and the Fairleigh Dickinson Executive MBA program.
- Steven D. Black elected to Board of Directors
On April 28, Steven D. Black was elected to the Wells Fargo Board of Directors. Black has served as co-CEO of Bregal Investments, a private equity firm, since September 2012.
Black has more than 45 years of financial services experience, including at JPMorgan Chase & Co. where he served in leadership positions in its investment banking business. At JPMorgan Chase, he served as vice chairman from March 2010 to February 2011, and he also was a member of the Operating and Executive Committees.
“We are pleased to welcome Steve to the board,” said Charles Noski, Wells Fargo’s board chair. “Steve’s deep knowledge of the financial services industry and financial markets, as well as his expertise in strategy and solving problems gained from advising clients all over the world, will bring valuable insight to our board.”
During his time at JPMorgan Chase, Black held numerous roles including Investment Bank executive chairman from 2009 to 2010; co-CEO of the Investment Bank from 2004 to 2009; Investment Bank deputy co-CEO from 2003 to 2004; and head of the Investment Bank’s Global Equities business from 2000 to 2003. Prior to his time with JPMorgan Chase, Black worked at Citigroup Inc. and its predecessor companies.
“We are fortunate to be able to add Steve to the board,” Scharf said. “Our board and management team are working with a sense of urgency to drive important cultural and structural changes at Wells Fargo, and I look forward to working with Steve and the other directors to continue the transformation of our company.”
- Nate Hurst joins Public Affairs leadership team
Effective June 1, Nate Hurst joins the Wells Fargo Public Affairs leadership team to lead Corporate Responsibility, Philanthropy, Community Relations, and Sustainability. He will also serve as President of the Wells Fargo Foundation.
“Nate brings a wealth of corporate citizenship, charitable giving, public affairs, and sustainability experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to Wells Fargo,” said Bill Daley, vice chairman of Public Affairs at Wells Fargo. “We look forward to having Nate continue to advance Wells Fargo’s commitment to addressing the needs of underserved communities, particularly as we work to ensure housing security, small business stability, and consumer financial health in the wake of the pandemic.”
In his new role at Wells Fargo, Hurst will oversee the alignment of Wells Fargo’s sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts with corporate philanthropy and community relations. The combined organization will drive innovation and maximize the positive societal, environmental, and economic impact that Wells Fargo brings to the communities it serves. Under Hurst’s leadership, the company will further integrate sustainability and corporate responsibility into all aspects of its business and explore how to further utilize business expertise to help solve societal problems.
Hurst joins Wells Fargo from HP Inc., where he was chief Sustainability & Social Impact officer responsible for driving HP’s global giving, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility into its core businesses. Hurst led a global team of experts to innovate sustainable solutions in collaboration with customers, partners, governments, and nonprofits. In 2019, HP climbed to No. 1 on Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies list.
Previously, Hurst served as the director of Sustainability, Public Affairs & Government Relations for Walmart, where he helped integrate sustainability into the business and align the community giving strategy with core customer needs. As a member of The White House Council on Environmental Quality for former U.S. President Bill Clinton, he helped develop the administration’s environmental policy agenda and executed a stakeholder engagement plan on leading issues such as climate change; and as national spokesperson for The Ocean Conservancy, Hurst spearheaded big ideas to reduce ocean plastic and led communications strategies, international coastal cleanups, and community grassroots campaigns.
A strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, Hurst has a proven track record of being inclusive of diverse perspectives. He was an executive ally for HP’s LGBTQ community and has led efforts to advance gender equality programs and ensure access to learning for women and girls. He served on the United Nations’ Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change, and while at HP he championed technology products and external programs that focus on gender equality, education and achievement, youth entrepreneurship, and socially responsible business.
- Brian Smith joins as head of Government Relations & Public Policy
On May 18, Brian Smith joined the Public Affairs leadership team as the head of Government Relations & Public Policy, leading Federal and State and Local Government Relations, Public Policy, Political Programs, and External Relations.
- New Corporate Risk leaders announced
On May 29, Wells Fargo announced the appointment of two new Corporate Risk leaders and an enhanced organizational structure designed to provide greater oversight of all risk-taking activities and a more comprehensive view of risk across the company. The new risk model will have five line-of-business Chief Risk Officers along with other teams aligned by risk type, each reporting to Wells Fargo CRO Mandy Norton.
Kevin Reen, who most recently served as JPMorgan’s CRO for its Card Services business, will join Wells Fargo in August as CRO of Consumer Lending and will report to Norton. The company will conduct a search for the new CROs for its Commercial Banking, Consumer & Small Business Banking, Corporate & Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management businesses.
In addition, Bill Juliano, who most recently served as Consumer and Business Banking CRO and U.S. Chief Operational Risk Officer at Santander Bank, will join Wells Fargo in July to lead the Operational Risk Management team, reporting to Norton.
“Kevin and Bill bring extensive experience and leadership to these significant roles. They will be a vital part of my leadership team as we continue to strengthen and transform our risk program under this new organizational structure,” said Norton.
- Barry Sommers joins as Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management CEO
On June 22, Barry Sommers joined the company as CEO of Wealth & Investment Management, reporting to CEO Charlie Scharf. Sommers will have responsibility for the company’s delivery of wealth management, investment, and retirement products and services to clients through its U.S.-based businesses, including Wells Fargo Advisors, Private Wealth Management — comprised of The Private Bank and Abbot Downing — and Wells Fargo Asset Management. He will become a member of the company’s Operating Committee.
“Barry is a proven leader with deep experience in wealth management. He knows asset management, brokerage, and private banking intimately and also what it takes to build a successful wealth management business inside a large bank. His experience, knowledge, and energy will be welcome as we continue our transformation,” said Scharf.
Until April 2019, Sommers was CEO of Wealth Management at JPMorgan Chase, where he was responsible for its private bank and brokerage businesses. Sommers also served as CEO of the Consumer Bank, where he managed the bank branch network. Before that, he spent time as the CEO of Chase Wealth Management, where he helped build the Chase Private Client Services business. He also served as the CEO of J.P. Morgan Securities. Previously in his career, Sommers was a senior managing director for Bear Stearns, serving as CEO for the private client business; prior to that he was responsible for the mutual fund business. He also spent time at Goldman Sachs in its asset management division.
- Barri Rafferty joins to lead Corporate Communications
On July 7, Barri Rafferty joined the company to lead the Corporate Communications function. She will report to Bill Daley, vice chairman of Public Affairs, and sit on the company’s Management Committee.
“Barri is a strategic and collaborative leader with deep experience in communications strategy, change management, brand marketing, and business transformation,” said Daley. “We look forward to her leadership as we redefine the company’s culture, voice, and narrative.”
Rafferty joins Wells Fargo from Ketchum, where she was the agency’s president and CEO — the first woman at the time to be the CEO of a top-five public relations agency. Her accomplishments as CEO at Ketchum include repositioning the agency to better adapt to meet the needs and challenges of today’s global and digital marketplace. Under her leadership, the agency won significant recognition, including being the most-awarded PR firm at Cannes 2019, 2018, and 2017.
- Kristy Fercho joins as head of Home Lending
On July 9, Wells Fargo announced that Kristy Fercho will join the company at the beginning of August as the new head of Wells Fargo Home Lending. Fercho has 18 years of leadership experience in the mortgage industry and will replace Michael DeVito, who has announced plans to retire later this summer after more than 23 years with Wells Fargo.
“Kristy is a customer-first business leader with deep home lending experience. She has been an inspiring and vocal leader across the mortgage industry while driving transformational growth at Flagstar,” said Mike Weinbach, CEO of Consumer Lending at Wells Fargo. “Buying a home remains one of the most important financial decisions our customers will make in their lifetime, and Kristy is the right person to help us ensure that no one can do it better for them than Wells Fargo.”
Fercho will join the company from Flagstar Bank, where she has served since 2017 as president of the company’s mortgage division. Prior to joining Flagstar, she spent 15 years with Fannie Mae, where she led the strategy and business performance of single-family customers in the western United States and also served in customer engagement and human resources roles. Fercho began her career and served in a variety of sales, operations, and human resources roles at Baxter International before moving to Pepsico Inc., where she ultimately was director of worldwide corporate human resources.
- Ather Williams III joins as head of Strategy, Digital and Innovation
On July 20, Wells Fargo announced that Ather Williams III will join the company in October 2020 as head of Strategy, Digital and Innovation. Williams will report to CEO Charlie Scharf and serve on the company’s Operating Committee.
“Ather is a strong, experienced leader with nearly three decades of global banking experience and deep expertise in strategic planning and delivering digital and innovative solutions for customers and clients,” Scharf said. “He is uniquely qualified to lead this group that aligns our strategic, long-term planning efforts with our strong focus on creating a more innovative, digitally enhanced company.”
In his role, Williams will lead corporate strategic planning; define and manage digital platform standards and capabilities; and manage innovation priorities, opportunities, and companywide efforts to drive transformation. His team will work closely with the company’s Technology Group and business lines to deliver digital solutions and innovation to customers that are integrated, intuitive, and seamless across channels. The formation of this group was part of the company’s February 2020 organizational announcement.
- Mike Santomassimo joins as New Chief Financial Officer
On July 21, Wells Fargo announced that Mike Santomassimo will join the company in fall 2020 as Chief Financial Officer. Santomassimo will report to CEO Charlie Scharf and serve on the company’s Operating Committee. He will succeed John Shrewsberry, who has announced plans to retire following a successful 22-year career with Wells Fargo, including the last six years as the company’s CFO. Shrewsberry will continue in his role as CFO until Santomassimo joins the company and will assist with the transition thereafter.
“Mike is a strategic-minded CFO with success in building and leading global finance teams that help drive business improvement,” Scharf said. “His experience as the CFO of one of the other seven Globally Systemic Important Banks in the U.S. puts him in a unique position to have immediate impact on Wells Fargo. He is action oriented and will be an important partner to me and our entire Operating Committee as we move our company forward.”
Santomassimo has more than 20 years of leadership experience in banking and finance. He joins Wells Fargo from BNY Mellon, where he was CFO since 2018. In addition to leading Finance at BNY Mellon, Santomassimo was responsible for the firm’s regulatory relations, enterprise resiliency office, third-party governance, and other corporate services. Previously, he served as CFO for the company’s Investment Services businesses. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, he spent 11 years at JPMorgan Chase in a number of key finance leadership roles, including CFO for Banking, which included Investment Banking (advisory and equity & debt capital markets) and Treasury Services. He also served as CFO of JPMorgan’s Securities Services & U.S. Private Banking businesses. He began his career at Smith Barney, where he held a variety of roles including as co-head of the Strategy and Finance team for the brokerage division.
- Kleber Santos joins as head of Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion group
Effective November 9, Kleber Santos joined Wells Fargo as the head of the newly created Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion group. In this role, Santos will be responsible for leading efforts to make the company a place where diversity is reflected at all levels and in every facet of the company’s operations, processes, and programs. He will be focused on creating a more diverse and inclusive working environment and partnering with Wells Fargo’s business leaders to deliver products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of diverse customer segments. He will report to CEO Charlie Scharf and serve on the company’s Operating Committee.
“Kleber brings a unique set of leadership and business skills that, combined with his experiences driving diversity and inclusion outcomes, will enable us to drive meaningful change throughout the organization and better serve our diverse customer base and underserved communities,” Scharf said.
Santos joins Wells Fargo from Capital One, where he worked for 15 years in a number of senior roles, most recently as president of Retail and Direct Banking, accountable for the division’s revenue, product development and marketing, branches and ATMs, and operations. As a member of Capital One’s executive team, Santos was deeply engaged in diversity efforts, including in the development of products and services and in partnering with community and consumer advocacy groups. Additionally, he helped advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace by enhancing his division’s recruiting efforts to require more diverse candidate pools and interview panels, helping introduce diversity-focused training and retention programs, launching a formal mentoring program, significantly increasing diverse representation on his leadership team, and chairing the Retail and Direct Banking Diversity Council.
Fargo ceo wells
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Charles W. Scharf
Chief Executive Officer and President
Wells Fargo & Company
Charles W. Scharf is chief executive officer and president, and a member of the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo & Company.
A financial services veteran with more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles in the banking and payments industries, Charlie served as chief executive officer of Bank of New York Mellon from July 2017 to October 2019 and the chairman of its board from January 2018 to October 2018. He also was chief executive officer and a director of Visa Inc. from November 2012 to December 2016.
During his tenure at Bank of New York Mellon, Charlie demonstrated a strong track record in initiating and leading change, driving results, strengthening operational risk and compliance, and innovating amid a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
As the CEO of Visa, Charlie transformed the firm into a technology-driven digital commerce company by partnering with the world's leading technology companies to drive new payment experiences and introduce new technologies to improve payment system security.
Previously, he was a managing director of One Equity Partners at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and chief executive officer of Retail Financial Services at JPMorgan Chase. He also was chief executive officer of the retail division of Bank One Corp., chief financial officer of Bank One Corp., chief financial officer of the Global Corporate and Investment Bank division of Citigroup, and chief financial officer of Salomon Smith Barney and its predecessor company.
Charlie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from New York University.
He is a director of Microsoft Corporation, serves on the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins University, is a member of The Business Council, and is a member of the board of directors for the New York City Ballet. He lives in New York City.
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