Wells Fargo Names Hays to Lead Advisers in Branches, Wealth

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), the largest U.S. bank by market value, named Jim Hays to oversee financial advisers in branches and wealth-management offices in a bid for growth and greater cooperation with the brokerage unit.

Hays, most recently president of the bank’s private-client group, will oversee 3,800 advisers and other employees providing brokerage services to wealth-management clients, the San Francisco-based lender said today in a statement. He will also lead an effort to sell investment products and services through branches and work closely with the retail brokerage, the third- largest in the U.S., the bank said.

Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, 59, is seeking to expand wealth, brokerage and retirement, the division headed by David Carroll and the smallest of the company’s three main business units. In December 2010, Stumpf said the business was “sub-optimized” and last year the wealth-management unit shuffled regional managers, cutting the number to seven from 12.

As head of the private-client group since 2005, Hays grew credit originations by $9 billion annually and increased clients’ usage of planning tools, according to the statement. He spent 18 years at Merrill Lynch & Co. before joining a Wells Fargo predecessor.

Wells Fargo’s brokerage business had more than 3,200 licensed bankers and 15,170 advisers at the end of June.

Wells Fargo rose 1.1 percent to $35.82 at 1:32 p.m. in New York. The shares have climbed 30 percent this year, about equal to the performance of the 24-company KBW Bank Index. (BKX)

To contact the reporter on this story: Dakin Campbell in San Francisco at dcampbell27@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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