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March 12, 2021

Wells Fargo drops Abbot Downing brand; folds business into private bank

By Amala Johney

American banking group Wells Fargo is ditching the Abbot Downing brand and moving the business, which serves the ultra-rich, under its larger private bank brand.

The move follows the ongoing revamp in the bank’s wealth management division under its wealth and investment-management head (WIM) Barry Sommers.

Launched a decade ago following the combination of two legacy family office businesses, the Abbot Downing brand caters to UHNW individuals, families, foundations, and endowments.

Commenting on the development, Sommers said: “The name may change but our commitment to the business, our clients, and our advisors serving these clients is steadfast.

“This business is an important part of WIM with significant potential for growth, and we will continue to serve the specialised needs of our ultra-high-net-worth clients in the manner they have come to expect.”

Recent developments at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo chief Charlie Scharf has been focusing on overhaul lately in a bid to turn around the group that was caught up in a major sales practices scandal.

Last month, Wells Fargo agreed to sell Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) for $2.1bn to GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners.

In January this year, it was reported that the bank is withdrawing from international wealth management business in order to focus its efforts on serving wealthy investors in the US.

The wealth and investment management arm of Wells Fargo reported a 157% year-on-year surge in net income in Q4 2020.

Overall, the group recorded a mixed performance, with net income rising 4%, although revenue fell 10%.

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