Wells Fargo has contacted Bridgewater Associates Co-CEO Eileen Murray about the bank’s open CEO job, according to reports.
Part of the process includes calling Murray’s associates and people close to her. She has been in the conversation for a number of high-profile roles at several companies in the past few years, including the CEO job at Uber after Travis Kalanick resigned in 2017.
Wells Fargo is said to be searching through a wide range of possible candidates.
Last month, the banking giant hired search firm Spencer Stuart to search for a new CEO. The goal was to hire a woman who could deal with public perception and regulatory issues, according to a report by Reuters.
Wells Fargo aims to become the only major U.S. banking institution with a female CEO, in hopes that the new optics will be able to improve its image with the public, including banking regulators and politicians, after a disastrous 2016 scandal in which it allegedly opened millions of accounts without authorization.
The bank’s former CEO Tim Sloan left suddenly in March. He was the second to depart in the wake of the scandals, and although Murray’s name wasn’t initially floated, she is now a contender.
One of the other women reportedly being considered is Jane Fraser, Citigroup Inc.’s Latin America chief. She has been at Citigroup for 15 years; she ran both the consumer and commercial business as well as the company’s private bank.
Another woman in the discussion is JPMorgan’s Marianne Lake. However, as she was picked to run JPMorgan’s consumer lending business last week, Lake isn’t as viable of a choice. Alphabet Finance Chief Ruth Porat and Bank of America CTO Cathy Bessant are also reportedly candidates for the job.
One source told Reuters the Wells Fargo board thinks a woman could appease lawmakers who have criticized the banking industry for its lack of diversity. The bank will, however, also consider men for the job.
Wells Fargo reportedly aims to complete the search within the next three to six months. Allen Parker, who had been the bank’s general counsel, is serving as the company’s interim CEO.