President, Eastern Region, Community Banking, Wells Fargo
As head of Wells Fargo's eastern region, Laura Schulte oversees more than a third of the bank's footprint. The territory in her charge extends from Connecticut down to Florida and into most states east of the Mississippi. It encompasses over 2,700 stores and 32,000 employees.
Schulte was given the additional responsibility in 2013 of leading the group that focuses on creating a better customer experience at the bank. The strength of her leadership is particularly evident in two areas of recent focus: cross-selling and bolstering business with affluent consumers. Credit card penetration grew 59% from the fourth quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of 2014, reaching 31% of households.
Meanwhile, deepening the partnership with Wells Fargo Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement has multiplied business with the affluent. Investment balances stemming from branch referrals had a 31% compound annual growth rate since 2011. Key to those efforts is a new staffing strategy her team launched that adds a dedicated private banker and financial advisor to branches located in affluent areas. These so-called "affluent high-opportunity stores" serve three times the number of affluent households as the average Wells branch.