What You Need to Know
- The consolidation will cut the number of regions in Wells Fargo's private client group to eight from 12.
- This represents another change designed to help the business become a “flatter, more nimble organization,” it says.
- The change is “long overdue,” explains Danny Sarch, head of the recruiting firm Leitner Sarch Consultants.
In yet another initiative intended to narrow the structure of its wealth management businesses, Wells Fargo says it plans to reduce the number of its private client group regions from 12 to eight.
The news comes roughly a week after Wells Fargo announced it was selling its Asset Management unit, which includes some $603 billion in assets and 450 investment professionals, to private equity firms GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners for $2.1 billion.
The latest initiative represents one more change that Danny Sarch, president of the recruiting firm Leitner Sarch Consultants, called “long overdue.” The consolidation reflects the company’s new management and leadership, which “inevitably lead to cost reductions,” he told ThinkAdvisor on Friday.
The number of both Wells Fargo financial and wealth advisors in the fourth quarter stood at 13,513, versus 14,414 a year earlier and 13,793 in the prior quarter. These advisors had average yearly fees and commissions of $1.013 million vs. $1.002 million a year ago and $943,000 in the prior quarter.
In its third-quarter financial report, Wells Fargo reported that it had 12,908 financial advisors, down 815, or 6%, from a year ago and 391, or 3%, from the prior quarter.
Wells Fargo Advisors’ financial advisor headcount on Oct. 31 was down by 2,178 advisors, or 14%, from Sept. 30, 2016, when news of its fake-accounts scandal broke widely.
Total assets for the unit were $2 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2020, up 6% from last year. Excluding Asset Management operations, assets were $1.4 trillion.
Details on the Reorg
Once the changes occur, the eight new divisional leaders will report to John Alexander, head of Regional Network for Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management’s Client Relationship Group, which includes Wells Fargo Advisors, The Private Bank and Abbot Downing.
The leaders are Rich Getzoff for the Eastern division; Kent Caldwell-Meeks, Midwest; Mike Carroll, Northeast; Susan Mayo, Northern; Kevin Kitchin, Pacific North; Dave Altshuler, Pacific South; Keith Vanderveen, Southeast; and Alberto Gonzalez Saint Geours, Southern.
However, because Wells Fargo is not moving into the new divisional structure immediately, the divisional leaders will remain in their current roles for now.