Wells Fargo, despite not being generally perceived as a leader in the world of trading and dealmaking, will push more to boost its investment bank this year, under a strategy from new CEO Charlie Scharf, Bloomberg reports.
Scharf, since taking over the bank after a scandal 14 months ago, has been working on strategies to help get the bank to be more like competitors such as JPMorgan Chase, which he ran prior to taking over Wells Fargo, according to sources quoted by Bloomberg.
Managers inside Wells Fargo say the goal is working toward creating a more commensurate presence on Wall Street. The firm currently ranks ninth in capital markets and deal advisory, and the new strategy will encompass more focus on business lines and industries where it already has credibility.
According to Bloomberg, this will include providing more underwriting and merger advice for corporate clients, along with lending to hedge funds wanting to ramp up bets.
Scharf, who inherited the company after a scandal diminished earnings and led the Federal Reserve to put a cap on earnings, has been putting the pieces into play for some time now, Bloomberg says. Last year, he broke the company’s three business lines into five, and splitting the investment division into one that would directly report to him. This month the company is expected to start publishing results, to offer standalone numbers for analysis.
In addition to their aforementioned plans, execs see this as a way to use the bank’s lending strength as a jump-off point to more business in markets, with Jon Weiss, head of the corporate and investment banking business, saying that could include repo financing or equities financing, Bloomberg reports.
Scharf weighed in on the economy’s state as the coronavirus vaccines were being rolled out initially late last year, saying the economy would likely recover rapidly once the vaccines became widely available for the population. Scharf cited the vital nature of the government aid early on and said the economy was looking better than analysts had forecast early on.
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