Wells Fargo hires new operations head from BNY Mellon

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Wells Fargo has hired the global head of operations at Bank of New York Mellon as part of its ongoing effort to implement a more unified structure across the 260,000-person company.

Lester Owens will serve as Wells Fargo’s head of operations, a newly created position that will report to Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell. Owens, who is scheduled to start at the $1.98 trillion-asset bank in late July, will also join the firm’s 12-member operating committee.

Owens will lead a team of employees who will drive consistent execution across Wells Fargo’s business operations functions, Powell said in a press release Monday. “We will all benefit from having Lester’s deep experience and talent in this critical role,” Powell stated.

Owens spent a little over a year at BNY Mellon, including roughly eight months under then-CEO Charlie Scharf, who is now the chief executive at Wells Fargo.

Earlier in his career, Owens worked for more than 11 years at JPMorgan Chase and approximately nine years at Deutsche Bank.

During Scharf’s six-month tenure at Wells Fargo, he has moved quickly to add outsiders to the scandal-plagued bank’s top executive ranks.

The latest hiring bolsters the growing team under Powell, the former CEO of Santander Holdings USA, who joined the San Francisco-based bank in December.

Powell’s recently hired deputies include Michael Cleary, who was lured away from Santander to oversee Wells Fargo’s sales practices. Powell has also been charged with temporarily leading a newly created group that is responsible for corporate strategy and the bank’s digital teams.

Wells Fargo is scheduled to hold its first annual meeting with Scharf as CEO on Tuesday.

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Career moves Operations Wells Fargo Charles Scharf C-suite
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