Inside Financial Services

At Wells Fargo, A Giant Moves On

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Richly deserved congratulations to John Shrewsbury and Tim Sloan, who Wells Fargo announced last week will become the company’s new CFO and head of wholesale banking, respectively. Both are talented individuals with impressive track records; they’ll no doubt carry out their roles extremely well. But a special shout-out, too, to another individual involved in last week’s announcement: Dave Hoyt,current head of wholesale banking, who’s retiring after 32 years at Wells.In my opinion, Dave Hoyt is an outstanding leader and the best wholesale banker in the country. During his time at Wells Fargo, he’s been in charge of credit training for the organization, has run credit workout groups, was installed as chief credit officer for the real estate group in the midst of the 1990s real estate recession, and, for the past 18 years, has been head of wholesale banking.Like so many of the best commercial bankers I’ve known, Dave had his credit skills molded under Carl Reichardt, Wells’ legendary former CEO and the best commercial banker ever, in my opinion. To get a sense of just how good Hoyt and Reichardt were, all you need to do is look at their track records over the past five decades’ credit and real estate cycles. Over that period,several major institutions encountered credit problems so severe the institutions had to be bailed out by the federal government (sometimes several times). Not Wells. It went from strength to strength and, as a result, is now the fourth-largest bank in the country. Incredible!David Hoyt was head of wholesale banking at the old Wells Fargo at the time of its acquisition by Norwest. Of course, the CEO of the new entity was Norwest’s Dick Kovacevich. When it emerged that Hoyt would run wholesale banking for the new company, I wasn’t sure he would stick around. Dick Kovacevich is an incredibly conservative banker (he’s a retail banker at heart) who was congenitally leery of large individual loan concentrations, particularly in commercial real estate. And in fact, at the time of the merger Wells Fargo had a number of individual loan relationships (many in commercial real estate) that topped $100 million. Dick told me at the time of the merger that exposure made him uncomfortable. But to his and Dave’s credit, they worked together and maintained the old Wells Fargo franchise in wholesale banking. This was extremely important, because wholesale banking was the crown jewel that Wells Fargo brought to the merger.Wells Fargo has a terrific management bench: I’m sure Tim Sloan will do a great job. But it’s worth noting in this latest shift, Wells is losing the best commercial banker in the country and a great person to boot. Here’s to a long and happy retirement.What do you think? Let me know!

5 Responses to “At Wells Fargo, A Giant Moves On”

  1. DLB

    I’m shocked you actually like a banker. He is a nice person and has done well by us. He will be missed.



  3. reality check

    In the 2000′s, didn’t Wells Wholesale Corp Banking under Hoyt actually exit corp banking, “fire” its corp clients and have the few “good ones” moved to the Commercial Banking channel for a number of years? Revisionist history is a wonderful thing…

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