A conversation with the Senior Executive Vice President, CEO of Wealth & Investment Management, Wells Fargo & Company
Rare access to one of the top-of-the-food-chain leaders who discusses the direction of Wells, how it compares to its peers, the value to HNW and UHNW clients, a perspective on recruiting and the ideal advisor type, the future of the industry, and much more.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed by the guests on this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Diamond Consultants. Neither Diamond Consultants nor the guests on this podcast are compensated in any way for their participation.
About this episode…
This episode exemplifies how the industry and this podcast have evolved.
No doubt, as we’ve shared before, this series started with the intention of focusing on the independent space—models that exemplify the ultimate in freedom, control, and entrepreneurship.
Yet the guest on this episode comes from one of the top wirehouses in the industry: Barry Sommers, the Senior Executive Vice President and CEO of Wealth & Investment Management at Wells Fargo & Company.
It’s noteworthy to mention that independence is not unfamiliar to Wells—and advisor choice is an essential aspect of the Wells’ value proposition to advisors. For example, of the four wirehouses, Wells is the only one to offer an independent channel, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, or FiNet, a popular way for advisors to move to independence without disrupting their client experience.
The fact that Wells was open to having Barry on this episode demonstrates that the firm is also following its own evolutionary path—resulting in their rise to become one of the largest wealth managers in the U.S., with $1.9 trillion in client assets as of this recording.
Yet Wells suffered from reputational issues over recent years in their consumer division, which created some challenges with the wealth management business—challenges that Barry acknowledges.
So Barry’s job is not one for the faint of heart, and he’s on a mission to oversee an evolution of the wealth management division. He shares that and more with Mindy Diamond in this important episode, including:
- The Wells value proposition—and why this is a differentiator to advisors.
- Platform, resources, marketing, and culture—and how it compares to other wirehouses.
- The attraction to $1B advisors—and how marketing and branding differ for those in the private client group (PCG).
- Providing an independent option for advisors—and how FiNet compares to other independent models.
- The value of being associated with a bank—and how it benefits both advisors and their clients.
- Recruiting deals—and how their transition packages serve to attract advisors at all levels.
- The ideal advisor fit for the firm—and how their multi-channel “advisor choice” model appeals to those seeking greater optionality.
- Succession planning—and what their retire-in-place program, Summit, offers to Wells advisors looking to monetize their life’s work.
It’s rare access to one of the top-of-the-food-chain leaders: An opportunity to hear, candidly, about the direction of the firm, how it compares to its peers, the value to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients, his perspective on recruiting and the ideal advisor type, the future of the industry, and much more.
Please note: Our goal with this series is to provide listeners with a complete view of the industry landscape. As such, this episode is not intended to be a sales pitch for Wells Fargo & Company. And like many other firms featured on the show, Diamond Consultants may present Wells Fargo & Company as an option to advisors considering change when appropriate.
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CEO of Wealth & Investment Management
Barry Sommers is CEO of Wealth & Investment Management at Wells Fargo, where he serves on the company’s Operating Committee.
Wealth & Investment Management provides a full range of wealth management and investment products and services through Wells Fargo Private Bank, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Wells Fargo Investment Institute. Wealth & Investment Management administers more than $1.9 trillion in client assets*. Our vast network of financial advisors, one of the nation’s largest, serves investors through locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Before joining Wells Fargo in 2020, Barry was CEO of Wealth Management at JPMorgan Chase, where he was responsible for its private bank and brokerage businesses. He also served as CEO of the Consumer Bank, where he managed the bank branch network. Prior to that, Barry was the CEO of Chase Wealth Management, where he helped build the Chase Private Client Services business and served as the CEO of JP Morgan Securities.
Earlier in his career, Barry was a senior managing director for Bear Stearns, serving as CEO for the private client business. He also served at Goldman Sachs, where he was a vice president in the asset management division.
Barry earned his bachelor of science in communications from Ohio University. He is based in New York City.