Magazine article American Banker

Wells Integrates Fund Assets of Predecessor Banks

Magazine article American Banker

Wells Integrates Fund Assets of Predecessor Banks

Article excerpt

More than a year after the deal that created it, Wells Fargo & Co. has merged the mutual fund assets of the former Norwest Corp. with those of the old Wells Fargo.

Thirty-five Wells Fargo Stagecoach mutual funds were combined with 39 Norwest Advantage funds in a new family, the Wells Fargo Funds, that numbers 61 portfolios. Norwest bought Wells Fargo in November 1998 and kept the Wells name.

With $56 billion of assets, the Wells Fargo mutual fund group ranks sixth among bank-managed fund families and 26th among all mutual fund companies.

The consolidation took considerable time, acknowledged executives at the San Francisco banking company. But they added that the deliberate pace was set by president and CEO Richard Kovacevich, who has told the financial community that he would take an exacting approach to integrating the two banking companies.

"We want to be among the foremost fund families out there," said Michael Hogan, executive vice president of the mutual fund group. "We want people to look at us and say, 'How are they doing that?' "

To build awareness, the company has placed notices about the funds' consolidation in The Wall Street Journal and has begun advertising in regional dailies, said Barbara Page, director of consumer and institutional markets for the fund group.

Besides selling the funds through its bank branches, Wells Fargo has agreements with brokerage firms, as well as with HSBC Holdings PLC. …

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