Wells Fargo Advisors plans to close all five of its Latin America offices and is inviting roughly 100 financial advisers there to relocate and continue to serve clients from its U.S. branches.
A spokesman confirmed that the Wells Fargo & Co. retail brokerage unit will close its Paraguay, Argentina and Chile offices and two offices in Uruguay.
The spokesman said by e-mail that the closings followed a review of the brokerage business in which Wells Fargo committed to serving international clients, but "clarified a number of strategic and logistical issues." Wells Fargo also said regulatory changes related to the licensing of brokers in these countries made it "increasingly difficult to continue operating offices in Latin America."
The spokesman said that because Wells Fargo can cater to these clients from the U.S., it is "more efficient and entails less compliance risk to ask the advisers in those offices to move to the U.S."
Advisers in those Latin American offices who are unable to move to the U.S., as well as managers and support staff who will be unable to move, "will be provided with severance and outplacement assistance," the spokesman said.
He said Wells Fargo's international office in Puerto Rico will remain open.