Merchant Innovation

Wells Fargo Has A New COO And President

Timothy Sloan will be taking the reigns at Wells Fargo as the bank’s new COO and president. Sloan has been long considered a favorite for the role, particularly after his ascension from the bank’s finance chief to becoming the head of the entire wholesale banking group, according to insiders cited by The Wall Street Journal.

Sloan will continue to report to CEO John G. Stumpf. Wells Fargo is the world’s largest bank by market cap; earlier this year, the bank briefly topped $300 billion in market capitalization.

Sloan was a leading figure in Wells Fargo’s agreement to purchase around $50 billion in assets from General Electric Co. this year when the conglomerate decided to sell off its massive financial services portfolio. He is also a well-respected and known part of the executive team.

“He’s a consensus builder but tough when he needs to be. In that sense, he’s cut from the same cloth as John Stumpf,” said John McDonald, a bank analyst at Bernstein.

Stumpf is 62 and is required to retire by the end of the year in which he turns 65 unless the bank’s board determines it is in the cormpany’s best interest to have him stay on. At 55, Sloan is seven years Stumpf’s junior.

Stumpf has been at the helm of Wells Fargo since the cheerful days of 2007 and managed to keep the bank growing during the financial crisis. Wells Fargo has also been unusual in its focus on Main Street businesses, such as retail banking and mortgage lending. Trading and investment banking have been a less central part of the Wells Fargo operation.

“As we prepare for Wells Fargo’s future, Tim is an ideal choice to lead one of the best teams in banking as they accelerate investments and drive change that position us for growth and enhance the many ways in which we help our customers succeed financially,” Stumpf said. “Tim has been a go-to leader throughout the post-financial crisis period and our historic Wachovia merger … leading top businesses and organizations.”

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