Wells Fargo taps Capital One executive to lead diversity efforts

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A Capital One executive will join Wells Fargo as the head of a newly created group that will lead diversity and inclusion efforts geared both toward the bank’s employees and its customers.

Kleber Santos, who was head of retail and direct banking at Capital One, will report to Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf and serve on the San Francisco company’s operating committee. He is scheduled to start at Wells on Nov. 9.

Kleber Santos, who previously served as head of retail and direct banking at Capital One, will report to Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf and serve on the San Francisco company’s operating committee.
Kleber Santos, who previously served as head of retail and direct banking at Capital One, will report to Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf and serve on the San Francisco company’s operating committee.

The team that Santos leads will have responsibility not only for creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, but also for working with others in the company to deliver products and services that are designed to meet the needs of diverse customer segments, according to a Wells Fargo spokesperson.

An existing team at Wells Fargo, which has been focusing on diversity and inclusion in the company’s workforce, will become part of the new group led by Santos. That team, led by Jimmie Walton Paschall, is currently part of the firm’s human resources group.

Santos, a native of Brazil who spent 15 years at Capital One, was involved in numerous diversity efforts at the McLean Va.-based company, according to Wells Fargo. He served as chair of Capital One’s diversity council for retail and direct banking.

“Kleber brings a unique set of leadership and business skills that, combined with his experiences driving diversity and inclusion outcomes, will enable us to drive meaningful changes throughout the organization and better serve our diverse customer base and underserved communities,” Scharf said in a press release.

One of Scharf’s key objectives is increasing the number of minorities in leadership roles. About 6% of the bank’s senior leaders are Black and he is aiming to double that figure within five years. The company has also said that compensation decisions will be determined in part by senior leaders’ progress in improving diversity.

Scharf announced plans for the new diversity and inclusion role in June, as many companies made changes in response to Black Lives Matter protests, but he subsequently drew criticism over the manner in which he framed the effort internally.

“While it might sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from,” Scharf wrote in a companywide memo in June.

After that remark was reported by Reuters, Scharf issued a public apology, saying that the comment was insensitive and reflected his own unconscious bias.

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Diversity and equality Consumer banking Workplace culture Wells Fargo Capital One
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