Wells Fargo Forms Tech-Payments Group, Promotes Two Managersby
Former retail chief Avid Modjtabai to lead new operation
Perry Pelos to run wholesale banking, taking over from Sloan
Wells Fargo & Co. combined corporate payments and some consumer-banking operations with the technology-innovations group, creating a unit run by the former leader of consumer lending, Avid Modjtabai.
As head of the Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation unit, Modjtabai will report to Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan, according to a statement Monday from the San Francisco-based bank that also disclosed two promotions and other management changes. The new business brings together seven leaders responsible for operations including technology innovation, consumer cards, deposit products and Treasury management. Two of the managers -- head of deposit products Ed Kadletz and Jim Smith, who runs virtual operations -- are being moved from community banking to the new group.
“I have not seen and am not aware of another bank that has made the decision to combine payments and virtual solutions and innovation,” Sloan said in a telephone interview. Wells Fargo is “connecting even better than we had been how we’re thinking about mobile and online solutions that are within that payment relationship which is so important to customers.”
Sloan’s company, which has been reeling from a scandal involving potentially millions of bogus customer accounts, is making the organizational change as fintech becomes increasingly crucial to the success of big banks. The nation’s top lenders have been boosting their spending on technology as competition ramps up to offer more innovative products for both consumers and businesses.
Authorities including the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Wells Fargo a total of $185 million on Sept. 8 for possibly opening about 2 million deposit and credit-card accounts without authorization from customers. The debacle escalated over the past month, with Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf appearing twice before congressional leaders and giving up more than $40 million in compensation.
In conjunction with the new business group, the company said it promoted Perry Pelos to run wholesale banking, which oversees businesses with commercial clients, including dealmaking and securities lending. Pelos takes over that role from Sloan, who’s been handling both jobs since his elevation to COO in November.
Franklin Codel, who had been head of home lending, will take on an additional role to replace Modjtabai as head of consumer lending, according to the statement. He will also oversee dealer services, the business headed by Dawn Martin Harp that lends and provides other services to auto dealers.
Pelos and Codel, along with the head of community banking, Mary Mack, will join the company’s operating committee on Nov. 1, according to the statement. Wells Fargo announced in July that Mack, who had led the retail brokerage, would replace Carrie Tolstedt, who ran the unit during the alleged misconduct regarding consumer accounts.
The three new additions increase the bank’s most important corporate committee overseeing its operations to 12 members. Stumpf leads the committee, which also includes Sloan, Modjtabai, Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry, Chief Risk Officer Mike Loughlin, Chief Administrative Officer Hope Hardison, wealth and investment management head David Carroll, chief auditor David Julian and general counsel James Strother.