DeNunzio Said Joining Wells Fargo as Global Head of M&A

David DeNunzio, a dealmaker with almost three decades of experience, will join Wells Fargo & Co. in September as global head of mergers and acquisitions, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Most recently, DeNunzio was at Credit Suisse Group AG, where he’d been chairman of global M&A since August 2012. He started at that firm in 1989, when it was First Boston Corp.

The move underscores the increasing emphasis that Wells Fargo -- the third-largest bank in the U.S. -- is placing on investment banking as it looks for ways to keep growing at a time when all lenders are struggling to make money.

Unlike JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., the three other giant commercial banks in the U.S., Wells Fargo lacks a muscular investment bank and has never had the ambition to build one. The San Francisco-based lender only entered dealmaking in recent years by way of its purchase of Wachovia Corp. in 2008.

Since then, it has mainly viewed investment banking as additional products and services it can offer to clients primarily interested in its business and commercial real estate loans.

Different Model

“It’s a little bit of a different business model from our perspective,” Timothy Sloan, Wells Fargo’s president, said during a presentation at a banking conference this week.

“It’s not about, let’s just go out and be a big investment bank. Let’s be in the investment banking business to broaden the relationships that we have with our existing customers. Maybe bring in some new ones into the company too.”

Wells Fargo is ranked 15th among M&A advisers in North America so far this year, working on deals with a combined value of $43 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Credit Suisse is ranked ninth, advising on $104 billion worth of deals.

DeNunzio has worked on transactions including Interactive Data Corp.’s sale to Intercontinental Exchange Inc. for $5.2 billion last year. He’s also an adviser to Macy’s Inc. on options for the department store chain’s real estate assets. He counseled Goodrich Corp. on its $16.5 billion sale to United Technologies Corp. in 2012, and Harleysville Group Inc. on its $840 million sale to Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

U.S. Deals

Sam Farnham, a managing director at Wells Fargo and head of the middle-market investment banking group, is being promoted head of U.S. M&A, said the people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Representatives for Wells Fargo and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Last month, Jefferies Group hired five senior Credit Suisse technology bankers. The same month, UBS Group AG reported a surge of client inflows at its North American wealth-management business after poaching dozens of financial advisers from Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse decided to wind down its private-banking business in the U.S. late last year and agreed in October to give Wells Fargo the inside track to its private-bank employees.

Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, accelerated its restructuring in March after turbulent markets prompted the company to write off about $1 billion on risky securities and announce plans to cut 6,000 jobs this year. The firm reduced its target for risk-weighted assets at the global markets unit to $60 billion from as much as $85 billion.

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