By Ted Carter
Banking giant Wells Fargo wants to expand its wealth business and London-based Barclays Wealth will soon be stepping up its hiring of wealth managers in the United States.
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf told a recent conference in New York that the bank has concluded its wealth business is “sub-optimized” and could be bigger.
If there were the right opportunity at the right time, that could be interesting to us,” he said.
Wells Fargo was the third-largest U.S. wealth manager at the end of September, behind Bank of America Corp and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, with $1.1 trillion in private-client assets and 15,088 advisers.
The San Francisco-based bank bought Wachovia Corp at the end of 2008, adding the Southeastern bank’s large network of advisers to its own wealth business.
Wachovia and predecessor First Union had built a brokerage giant by acquiring dozens of regional firms.
Meanwhile, the Barclays Plc unit has hired 50 advisers in the Americas this year, giving it 250 representatives across the region. Over the next few years, the bank intends to expand its Americas ranks to as many as 600 investor representatives.
Barclays’ 2008 acquisition of bankrupt Lehman Brothers out of bankruptcy in September 2008 gained the firm 230 investment representatives from Lehman’s private client business.
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