The Wall Street Journal: February 1, 2020, As Market Booms, Wells Fargo Financial Advisers Struggle
Wells Fargo executives maintain that the bank’s wealth-management operation is close to turning around.
Wells Fargo executives believe the wealth operation—one of the bank’s three main business lines—is close to turning around after the scandal. Wealth-management head Jonathan Weiss has put new managers in place, and the bank said 2019 was its best recruiting year since before the sales scandal erupted. Yet expenses have jumped 23% from a year ago, in part because of higher compensation and benefits.
Wells Fargo’s consumer bank referred $2.6 billion of investment assets to the wealth business in the final three months of last year, up 18% from a year earlier, but still down from the $3.2 billion in the third quarter of 2016.
Wells Fargo wealth-management executives said the business explains pay clearly to financial advisers. They said only a fraction of advisers have, at some point over the past 10 years, received less than their full bonus payments.