Carrie Tolstedt
Senior EVP, Community Banking, Wells Fargo

Motivation isn't a problem for Carrie Tolstedt. "As I go to my office each day, I pass by a stagecoach in our lobby" — a powerful reminder, she says, of Wells Fargo's stability, based on a century and a half of zeroing in on what people want from a bank.

One of the newest measures that Tolstedt has for how well she delivers on what people want is something Wells calls "customer intensity." The concept of customer intensity was developed as a way to distill insight from data on how and when the bank's nearly 25 million retail, small-business and business-banking households, all of which are under Tolstedt's care, access accounts, make payments, search for information, buy new products and do any number of other things at the bank. The more customers do, the more "intense" they are, so to speak. The bottom line: high-intensity customers are nearly twice as likely to purchase a product each year, have a higher retention rate, are more likely to refer someone else to the bank and are 70 percent more profitable. Tolstedt says about 25 percent of the bank's customers are in the high-intensity zone, which gives the 105,000 team members she leads plenty of opportunity to grow the business.

Tolstedt, named by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 most powerful women in business for 2013, began her career with Norwest Bank in Nebraska in 1986. After a brief period with FirstMerit Corp., she returned to Norwest before the 1998 merger with Wells. She was appointed to her current role in June 2007.

With the largest branch network in the U.S., Wells has ample opportunity and incentive to stress diversity. In 2013, Tolstedt's Community Banking unit sponsored 215 people through the company's Enterprise Diverse Leaders Programs; more than half of them were women.

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