Wachovia announced June 2 that director Lanty Smith was appointed interim CEO, succeeding Ken Thompson, who retired at the request of the board; Thompson had been with the company 32 years, while Smith has served as a director for the past 21 years and has been engaged in private equity and venture-capital investing during that time. Ben Jenkins is serving as interim COO.
The board of directors has formed a special committee to conduct a search for a permanent CEO, the company says.
"No single precipitating event caused the board to reach this decision, but a series of previously disclosed disappointments and setbacks cumulatively have negatively impacted the company and its performance," Smith explains. "The board believes new leadership will help to revitalize and reenergize Wachovia and enable it to realize its potential."
In the quarter ended March 31, Wachovia's Capital Management Group reported that it had some 14,583 full-service financial advisors (including those previously with A.G. Edwards), down from 14,607 in the fourth quarter of 2007. Broker client assets were $1.12 trillion vs. $1.17 in 4Q07.
The group had revenue of $2.5 billion, down 3 percent sequentially but up 42 percent from the first quarter of 2007 (i.e., before the A.G. Edwards merger).
Wachovia says the integration of A.G. Edwards is "on track," including re-branding efforts and a credit-product rollout.
Janet Levaux, MBA/MA., is the managing editor of Research; reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org