Mary Mack launches opening salvo as head of Wells Fargo Advisors

The newly appointed head of the wirehouse is reorganizing the firm's top brass

Feb 7, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

By Mason Braswell

+ Zoom

The newly appointed president of Wells Fargo Advisors, Mary Mack, has announced her first major initiative as head of the firm's more than 15,200 financial advisers.

One month into her new role, Ms. Mack, who has made a number of smaller changes since replacing former president Danny Ludeman when he retired at the end of last year, said that she has split the Financial Services Group, which manages investment products, technology and adviser development, into three separate units, according to a letter sent out to advisers and employees.

The unit, which she ran in her previous role, will be broken out into three teams: Innovation and Business Strategy, Mobile and Online Group, and Products and Advice.

All three divisions will report directly to Ms. Mack, who is based in the firm's Charlotte, N.C., office but plans to relocate to St. Louis later this year.

“What began as a search for someone to replace me as the head of the Financial Services Group led to a more comprehensive look at our overall structure,” she wrote in the letter. “This will elevate key priorities such as innovating more and enhancing our client platform, as well as enable an executive committee-level leader to focus solely on products and advice.”

A spokesman for the firm, Anthony Mattera, declined to offer additional comment, but Ms. Mack's letter didn't indicate that any staff reductions or cuts were in order.

As of the announcement Friday, just one of the leadership roles at the three groups had been filled.

The Innovation and Business Strategy Group, which had been run as the Strategic Solutions Group, will continue to be led by Joe Nadreau. The group will oversee client experience, adviser best practices and strategy.

The Mobile and Online Group will be responsible for developing and deploying the client platform.

In the letter, Ms. Mack wrote that she is looking to “elevate the need to invest in and enhance the digital media that our clients use to connect with financial advisers and our firm.”

The leader of that group “will be posted soon,” she wrote.

Another open position, Products and Advice, will encapsulate a number of services, including sales of banking and lending products, adviser productivity and retention, and adviser recruiting.

The move will reshuffle some key leadership roles, including the head of adviser recruiting and productivity and retention.

Chip Walker, who was previously the head of productivity and retention, will be the director of field leadership effectiveness as of Feb. 24, Ms. Mack wrote.

His previous role has yet to be filled.

Mary Atkin, the firm's chief administrative officer, will be market manager in the firm's headquarters city of St. Louis.

The firm also is relocating some regional leadership. Kevin Kitchin, a market manager in San Francisco, will be a director overseeing the Texas area.

A managing director in Detroit, Heather Hunt-Ruddy, will move to St. Louis, and Keith Vanderveen, regional president in St. Louis, will move to Chicago.

The news follows structural changes at Wells Fargo Financial Network, the firm's division of about 1,200 independent advisers, which consolidated regional directorship roles under Alex David.

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