Wells Fargo Hires John Fowler for Health-Care Deals
(Corrects acquisition-advisory ranking in the fifth paragraph of a story published Dec. 20.)
Wells Fargo & Co., the fourth- largest U.S. lender by assets, hired John Fowler, who has led European health care at Deutsche Bank AG, and five managing directors to expand its investment-banking division.
Fowler will be vice chairman of health-care investment banking and report to John Hudson, according to a company statement. Wells Fargo also named Gerry Walters as head of technology banking for the west coast, the San Francisco-based company said.
“The addition of these experienced senior-level bankers demonstrates our ongoing commitment to growing our investment banking platform,” Jonathan Weiss, 53, co-head of the investment banking and capital markets group with Rob Engel, 47, said in the statement. “These bankers bring strong client relationships and specialized industry expertise that will support the continued growth of our business.”
Wells Fargo is expanding the securities unit it acquired from Wachovia Corp. in 2008 as Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, 57, looks to capitalize on a changing landscape after Bear Stearns Cos., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. collapsed or were sold. Former Chairman Richard Kovacevich, 67, said in a November 2009 speech at the Stanford Graduate School of Business that Wells Fargo’s investment bank will be “in the top five within the next few years.”
Wells Fargo rose to 12th in U.S. debt underwriting through Dec. 20 this year from 13th in 2009, and to eighth in U.S. equity underwriting from 10th last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Wells Fargo is 26th among financial advisers on U.S. mergers and acquisitions.
Fowler has more than 20 years of investment banking experience, most recently as vice chairman at Deutsche Bank, according to the company’s statement. Fowler graduated from the University of Virginia, where he also earned law and business degrees, Wells Fargo said. He also ran healthcare banking at Salomon Brothers, now part of Citigroup Inc.
Joining Fowler in healthcare is Shawn Cross, who will lead Wells Fargo’s so-called BioPharma business, the company said. Cross was most recently CEO of the merchant banking group at Burrill & Co., a San Francisco-based firm focused on life sciences. He will report to Hudson, head of consumer, healthcare and gaming banking, Wells Fargo said.
Walters, 41, joins from Oppenheimer & Co., where he was head of internet and digital media, according to the statement. He will report to Jim Broner, head of the technology, media and telecom investment-banking group, the company said.
Wells Fargo hired Adam DeGarmo, 42, former head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s chemical banking practice, to lead a similar unit at Wells Fargo, according to the statement.
Tim Schar, in equity capital markets, and Shane Goodwin in the middle-market banking group were also hired, Wells Fargo said. Schar, 41, was most recently interim finance chief at ServiceSource Inc. and prior to that was in the global markets solutions and equity-linked products group at Credit Suisse Group AG. He worked at Wachovia earlier this decade, according to the statement.
Goodwin, 42, who will head the southwest region, worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Salomon Brothers and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, according to the statement. He’s advised on M&A deals valued at more than $30 billion, according to Wells Fargo.
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