This episode exemplifies how the industry and this podcast have evolved.
No doubt, as we’ve shared before, this series started with the intention of focusing on the independent space—models that exemplify the ultimate in freedom, control, and entrepreneurship.
Yet the guest on this episode comes from one of the top wirehouses in the industry: Barry Sommers, the senior executive vice president and CEO of Wealth & Investment Management at Wells Fargo.
It’s noteworthy to mention that independence is not unfamiliar to Wells—and advisor choice is an essential aspect of the Wells’ value proposition to advisors. For example, of the four wirehouses, Wells is the only one to offer an independent channel, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, or FiNet, a popular way for advisors to move to independence without disrupting their client experience.
The fact that Wells was open to having Barry on this episode demonstrates that the firm is also following its own evolutionary path—resulting in their rise to become one of the largest wealth managers in the U.S., with $1.9 trillion in client assets as of this recording.
Yet Wells suffered from reputational issues over recent years in their consumer division, which created some challenges with the wealth management business—challenges that Barry acknowledges.
So Barry’s job is not one for the faint of heart, and he’s on a mission to oversee an evolution of the wealth management division. He shares that and more with Mindy Diamond in this important episode, including:
- The Wells value proposition—and why this is a differentiator to advisors.
- Platform, resources, marketing, and culture—and how it compares to other wirehouses.
- The attraction to $1 billion advisors—and how marketing and branding differ for those in the private client group.
- Providing an independent option for advisors—and how FiNet compares to other independent models.
- The value of being associated with a bank—and how it benefits both advisors and their clients.
- Recruiting deals—and how their transition packages serve to attract advisors at all levels.
- The ideal advisor fit for the firm—and how their multi-channel “advisor choice” model appeals to those seeking greater optionality.
- Succession planning—and what their retire-in-place program, Summit, offers to Wells advisors looking to monetize their life’s work.
It’s rare access to one of the top-of-the-food-chain leaders: An opportunity to hear, candidly, about the direction of the firm, how it compares to its peers, the value to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients, his perspective on recruiting and the ideal advisor type, the future of the industry, and much more.
Please note: Our goal with this series is to provide listeners with a complete view of the industry landscape. As such, this episode is not intended to be a sales pitch for Wells Fargo & Company. And like many other firms featured on the show, Diamond Consultants may present Wells Fargo & Company as an option to advisors considering change when appropriate.