Wells Fargo Expands in Investment Banking

When Wells Fargo & Co. bought Wachovia Corporation; they inherited its securities business, which they plan to expand today. The fourth-largest bank in the U.S. will also change the name of its securities unit from Wachovia securities to Wells Fargo Securities.

From January-June 2009, Wells Fargo &. Co (WFC.N) ranked 18th in merger advising and 28th in equity underwriting and global debt.

The bank emphasized equity and debt underwriting, acquisitions and mergers, loan syndications, equity and debt trading and sales, some derivatives, and municipal securities, while avoiding risky businesses such as proprietary trading, which caused big losses for its rivals.

In addition, Wells Fargo continued shedding off the name of Wachovia by renaming Wachovia securities to Wells Fargo Securities. It can be recalled that barely two months ago, the bank also renamed its brokerage unit to Wells Fargo advisors. John Weiss and Rob Engel lead the bank’s capital markets business and investment banking while John Shrewsberry leads its investment and securities group.

Higher profits from its securities business helped the San Francisco-based bank bolster equity after writing off Wachovia’s loan book  worth $37.2 billion as this North Carolina-based lender was acquired by Wells Fargo at $12.5 billion on latest year-end.

Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. Recently, it sold $8.6 billion stocks that would help fill in the $13.7 billion buffer that’s required by U.S. regulators under the “stress test.” As for the rest, they plan to generate it internally. Previously, the bank took $25 billion from TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) of the government.


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