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Wells Fargo Complex Boss Comes Back to the Firm

July 2, 2018

Amid increased regulatory scrutiny and an ongoing exodus of financial advisors, at least one recent departure from Wells Fargo has had a change of heart, according to AdvisorHub.

Christopher Davis left his job as a Wells Fargo Advisors complex manager in New York’s Long Island area around two months ago for Steward Partners Global Advisory, the employee-owned independent partnership associated with Raymond James Financial Services, the industry news website writes.

Davis, who had overseen 190 brokers managing $17 billion at Wells Fargo, had been critical of the change in culture at the scandal-ridden Wells Fargo’s retail banking unit, AdvisorHub claims. The company has been a target of regulatory scrutiny and customer lawsuits following the 2016 revelations that employees in its retail banking unit opened millions of debit and credit accounts without client authorization.

According to Davis, Wells Fargo’s brokers faced obstacles in building their books of business as a result, the website writes. The firm has also been continuously shedding advisors to rivals, with Raymond James luring several of its representatives collectively managing at least $1.4 billion just in the month of June.

When Davis resigned, Wells Fargo’s executives started a concerted effort to lure him back, a person familiar with the process tells AdvisorHub. And last week, Davis came back to Wells Fargo, where he had been for 18 years out of his 25-year career, according to AdvisorHub. A statement from Davis suggests that he believes Wells Fargo Advisors has addressed the issue, the website writes.

“I’m focusing on change management, helping our advisors have a growth mindset in the midst of so much industry change,” he says in a prepared statement cited by AdvisorHub. “Sometimes you have to take a look around to realize what you had all along.”

And a Wells Fargo Advisors spokeswoman tells the website that Davis will have more responsibility in advisor recruitment and how they grow their business.

While Wells Fargo’s wealth management business at first mostly avoided regulatory scrutiny following the scandal at the bank, the SEC as well as the U.S. Justice Department have been investigating the units since earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported in March.

In his brief stint at Steward Partners, Davis was a divisional director in charge of New York and New Jersey, according to AdvisorHub. Steward CEO James Gold declined comment to the website on Davis’s departure.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.