The new Wells Fargo & Co. is shaping its approach to managing private client services by borrowing practices from both its predecessor companies.
The new banking company - formed Nov. 2 when Norwest Corp. bought Wells Fargo & Co., adopted its name, and moved its headquarters to San Francisco - has installed a new organizational chart for private client services in recent weeks.
Private client services at Wells encompasses credit and deposits, trust, investment management, and brokerage services for affluent individuals in 21 states. While the old Wells had centrally managed these business lines, Norwest had local business specialists who reported to executives at regional banks.
At the combined company, group business managers-who are responsible for brokerage services, investment management, trust, and private banking-will work with regional managing directors.
The rationale behind the new organizational chart: Because client bases vary from one region to another, local managers who supervise brokers, portfolio managers, trust officers, and bankers need to call some shots, according to Dennis J. Mooradian, executive vice president in charge of private client services.
"What I learned very quickly on travel to the Midwest is the business style and delivery of service was different than in the Wells territories," he said. "The interaction with the client in a smaller town is a different kind of interaction than it would be in a larger city."
The broker-dealers of the merger partners still operate separately, but Mr. Mooradian said he expects them to be on the same trading platform next year. In the meantime, colleagues can help each other access products exclusive to one brokerage or the other, he added. There are 660 brokers total.
The group business managers include Lance P. Fox for private banking and David J. Pittman for personal trust services. Jane Magpiong will temporarily head investment management, while Wells recruits for the position. Ms. Magpiong will become the regional manager for the San Francisco area on April 1.
The brokerage group business managers are John R. Farrish for Norwest Investment Services and Mr. Mooradian for Well Fargo Securities.
All the group business managers, except Mr. Farrish, hail from Wells.
The regional managing directors are Michael J. Conway, Charles W. Daggs, Joe W. DeFur, Mr. Farrish, Dennis Hoffman, David H. Jones, Robert L. Roszkos, and James J. Urbanek.
Mr. Conway, Mr. Daggs, Mr. DeFur, and Mr. Roszkos are from the old Wells; the others are from Norwest.
The regional managing directors and the group business managers are supposed to make decisions together on strategy, personnel, compensation, or production goals, Mr. Mooradian said.
"They have to work together, or they won't be happy here," he said.
For that to work, observers said, regional managers' feedback must be listened to by business managers.
"The Norwest culture is one that's very sensitive to the local environment," said Charles B. Wendel, president of Financial Institutions Consulting in New York.
"They're trying to take the old Wells Fargo's ability to develop product and meld that with the customization of Norwest," he added.