Wells Fargo names leaders of restructured commercial banking group

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Wells Fargo has restructured the leadership of its commercial banking operations as the San Francisco bank continues to shuffle the decks of its management ranks.

Wells promoted five executives to newly created positions within commercial banking — three are leaders of regional groups and two will have nationwide oversight roles. The promotions took effect Tuesday.

The new commercial banking division structure will help Wells provide better local service and expertise to industry sector groups, said Kyle Hranicky, executive vice president and head of commercial banking.

All five of the executives who were promoted on Tuesday will report to Hranicky, who is based in Houston. The commercial banking division’s restructuring under Hranicky’s leadership was previously announced in August. In that restructuring, Wells combined its business banking, government and institutional banking and middle-market banking in one new group called commercial banking.

Commercial banking provides both lending and treasury solutions to clients with $5 million to $2 billion in yearly revenue.

As part of the restructuring, Wells made changes “across the legacy businesses, including changes in leadership,” said Katie Ellis, a company spokeswoman. She declined to say if any executives have left Wells as a result of the new leadership structure or if jobs will be eliminated.

Wells said Tuesday that Kristin Lesher will be head of the east region, which cover 19 states. Lesher, who’s based in Washington, D.C., was previously co-head of investment banking coverage.

Laura Oberst was named head of the 20-state central region, based in Minneapolis. Oberst had been head of the business banking group.

John Manning was named head of the nine-state west region, based in Irvine, Calif. He previously led the east region of the middle-market banking group.

David Pope was named chief operating officer for commercial banking, based in Charlotte, N.C. He will be responsible for strategic initiatives such as market implementation, business initiative support, regional services and partner relationships. Pope had been chief operating officer of business banking.

Phil Smith, also based in Charlotte, was named head of specialized industries, which include sectors such as food and beverage, investor real estate, government and technology. He previously was head of government and institutional banking.

The moves are Wells’ latest effort to flatten its management structure at a time when the bank is operating under a series of regulatory consent orders imposed after a series of high-profile scandals.

In late 2017, Mary Mack, its head of community banking, also became head of consumer banking, expanding her responsibilities to include mortgage, auto and small-business lending.

Wells also continues to search for a permanent replacement for Tim Sloan, who stepped down as CEO in late March. C. Allen Parker, who had been Wells' general counsel, has been serving as interim CEO.

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