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Wells Fargo Wealth Chief to Retire

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The head of Wells Fargo’s wealth unit, David Carroll, is retiring on July 1. Jonathan Weiss, now head of Wells Fargo Securities, will take over his post.

Weiss will stay in New York and report to Wells Fargo President and CEO Timothy J. Sloan, though the wealth unit is based in St. Louis.

“As head of Wealth and Investment Management, [Carroll] achieved a compound annual growth rate in after-tax earnings of 26% for the last eight years,” said Sloan in a statement, “and [he] developed talent, strategies and best practices that will serve Wells Fargo for years to come as we become a stronger, better bank for our customers and clients.”

Last quarter, Wells Fargo said its advisor headcount fell three from the prior year and two from the earlier quarter to 14,657. The Wealth & Investment Management unit had revenues of $4.2 billion, up from $3.9 billion in the first quarter of 2016. Its net income was $623 million vs. $512 million last year.

The wealth unit is reportedly planning to offer higher recruiting bonuses to prospective advisors in order to address this situation and to take advantage of moves by wirehouse rivals Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS to retreat from the “recruiting wars.”

According to a Reuters report, Wells Fargo Advisors could boost its upfront signing bonuses and deferred compensation by as much as 50%. (The move was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.)

“Attracting the industry’s top talent will always be a priority for Wells Fargo Advisors,” the company said in a statement shared with Reuters.

Over the past year or so, a number of advisors have left Wells Fargo in the wake of the fake accounts scandal at its retail bank. In the first quarter of 2017, for instance, LPL Financial said it picked up 14 advisors from Wells.

Earlier this week, though, Wells Fargo said that advisor John Miller left UBS to join its independent channel, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (or FiNet) in Knoxville, Tennessee. He previously managed more than $119 million of client assets.

Also moving to FiNet this week is Robert Stansberry, of Columbia, Missouri, who left Stifel Financial. Earlier, he had over $125 million in assets. Both of the new FiNet reps have 25 years or more in the business.

The company’s wealth unit includes Wells Fargo Advisors, The Private Bank, Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust, and Wells Fargo Asset Management.

The unit’s total assets are $1.8 trillion, up 9% from a year ago. The retail brokerage group reported first-quarter loan growth of 15% from last year, while the wealth management group said its average loan balances improved 8%.

Carroll, Weiss Career Histories

Carroll joined Wachovia Bank & Trust Co. in 1979 and then First Union National Bank in 1981. (First Union merged with Wachovia in 2001.)

From 2005 until Wachovia’s merger with Wells Fargo in 2008, Carroll led Wachovia’s Capital Management Group, which included the retail brokerage (Wachovia Securities), asset management (Evergreen Investments), and Retirement and Investment Products.

Weiss joined Wachovia in 2005 from J.P. Morgan. He was co-head of Investment Banking and Capital Markets at Wells Fargo before becoming the leaders of the securities group in 2014.

He worked for over 25 years at J.P. Morgan and also led the Retail Industries group at Chemical Bank in New York from 1992 to 1996, after beginning his career at Chemical Bank in 1980.


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