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December 20, 2012

Wells Fargo Advisors Names Kowach New Head of PCG

Wells Fargo Advisors tapped David Kowach president of the firm’s Private Client Group in November. Kowach replaces Jim Hays, who is now head of Wells Fargo’s Wealth Brokerage Services, the bank-branch channel. 

Wells’ Private Client Group includes about 11,000 financial advisors, according to the company. As head of its operations, Kowach reports to Danny Ludeman, president and CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors.  

“David Kowach has been an integral part of our firm for many years, and has brought his insight and deep knowledge of the business to bear to help our firm and our advisors grow and succeed,” said Ludeman, in a press release. “I’m confident that David’s outstanding leadership skills and extensive experience will strengthen our Private Client Group and its efforts to help our clients succeed financially.”

Kowach began his career as a financial advisor in the Philadelphia area and has 20-plus years of industry experience, including work as a national sales manager for Evergreen Funds. Previously, he led the firm’s Business Development Group and was in charge of advisor productivity, recruitment, retention, growth strategies and national sales. Kowach also served as head of private-client services for the Private Client Group.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity. Anyone who knows me knows I love this firm and this business,” said Kowach, in a statement. “I’m looking forward to making a real difference on behalf of our financial advisors.”

For the third quarter, Wells’ Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement unit (which includes its private-client operations) reported net income of $338 million, down from $343 million in the previous quarter but up from $290 million a year ago. Revenue was $3.03 billion, up from $2.97 billion in the second quarter and from $2.89 billion a year ago; the most recent sales figure benefited from $45 million in gains on deferred-compensation plan investments; excluding this item, revenue was flat.

In the retail-brokerage segment, client assets of $1.2 trillion were up 11% from prior year. Managed account assets increased $59 billion, or 25%, from the prior year “driven by strong net flows and market performance,” the company says. Wealth-management client assets of $199 billion were up 4% percent from prior year. 

Wells Fargo Advisors said its headcount was 18,277, down 109 from 18,386 in the second quarter of 2012. The number of traditional advisors as of Sept. 30 was 10,857 vs. 10,913 in the previous quarter. 

Wells Fargo had 2,827 reps working in banks, along with 3,110 licensed bankers. Other advisors include those in FiNet, its independent-advisor channel. The number of its correspondent clearing firms fell by four to 88 in the third quarter. 

In June, Wells Fargo named Kent Christian presidents of WFA’s Financial Network (FiNet), the firm’s independent channel. Christian replaced John Peluso, who became president of First Clearing Correspondent Services, a non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo.

While Peluso led FiNet, the channel grew to 1,100 financial advisors and more than $55 billion in client assets, topping $600 million in production.

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