What You Need to Know
- The news comes only about a week after Wells Fargo said it would restructure its wealth unit.
- The Abbot Downing UHNW brand will be folded into the company's Private Bank brand.
- Wells Fargo remains committed to serving UHNW clients, according to Barry Sommers, WIM CEO.
Wells Fargo is rebranding its ultra-high net worth business, Abbot Downing, and moving it under the Wells Fargo Private Bank brand, the company said Thursday.
Abbot Downing manages more than $47 billion in client assets, according to its website. Its clients have at least $50 million in assets.
“The Abbot Downing relationship managers will continue to serve clients under the new job title of Family Office Advisors,” Abbot Downing spokeswoman Julie Andrews told ThinkAdvisor on Friday. “The branding change will happen in phases,” she added.
Last week, Wells Fargo announced another initiative intended to narrow the structure of its wealth management businesses, saying it planned to reduce the number of its private client group regions from 12 to eight.
That news came roughly a week after Wells Fargo said 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.
Danny Sarch, president of the recruiting firm Leitner Sarch Consultants, called the branding move “long overdue” on Friday. (He said the same of the wealth unit restructuring last week.)
“If you’re going to reinvent and reinvigorate one of the most recognizable brand names in the country, if not the world, which they’ve done with advertising and new leadership… why would you have a separate brand for your wealthiest customers?” he said. “It made no sense to me — other than the pride of the Abbot Downing people.”