Magazine article American Banker

Wells Fargo, Dean Witter Swap Expertise

Magazine article American Banker

Wells Fargo, Dean Witter Swap Expertise

Article excerpt

When Wells Fargo & Co. executives decided they wanted to look and act more like a full-service brokerage than a bank, they turned to Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. for investment savvy and services.

Under an arrangement announced last week, Wells will have access to the same products, research and knowledge as Dean Witter-a full-service brokerage firm-without having to build one from scratch. And Dean Witter, the retail brokerage arm of Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover Co., will have access to Wells' massive customer base.

"The reality is, with 380 sales people, we're not at the scale to build things from the ground up," said Dennis Mooradian, executive vice president of private client services and president of Wells Fargo Securities.

"Our goal is to transition the bank-brokerage business, which is really a transactional business, to a relationship business that is full service, and touches the customer relationship in every way," he added.

Dean Witter, for its part, will gain clients who do not typically turn to brokerage firms for their investment needs, said Richard Powers, executive vice president and director of marketing at Dean Witter.

The firm currently has similar arrangements with NationsBank Corp. and Banc One Corp., and is looking for five to seven more bank partners in the Northeast, the Northwest, and the Middle Atlantic states, said Mr. Powers.

"Bank customers who buy investment products through banks typically only buy through banks," he said. …

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