Wells Fargo Bets on Charlotte Trading After BofA Largely Abandons City

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Wells Fargo is betting its securities business can thrive 600 miles from New York in the same city Bank of America Corp. (BAC)’s traders largely abandoned.

Bloomberg reports that the first of 900 Wells Fargo employees moved last month into a new space on two floors of a 48-story tower in Charlotte, North Carolina.

From their windows they can see the complex a half-mile away where Bank of America built its own state-of-the-art facility less than a decade ago for about 550 traders and bankers. Most have since been fired or moved to New York.

Both banks are vying to be winners in bond trading even as margins collapse and rivals such as UBS quit the field. Wells Fargo is out to prove the business doesn’t need to be in New York, with John Shrewsberry, president of the firm’s securities unit, counting on lifestyle perks, cheaper housing and the San Francisco-based bank’s status as a growing company to lure talented people.

To build the business, Wells Fargo Chief Executive OfficerJohn Stumpf, 59, is relying on a corps of traders added in the 2008 acquisition of Wachovia Corp. About 1,500 bond-trading andinvestment-banking employees reside in Charlotte, the 17th largest U.S. city. That compares with about 700 in New York, where the equities business is based. Less than a dozen people were transferred to Charlotte from San Francisco, which houses about 400 securities personnel, said Elise Wilkinson, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman.

Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg article:

Wells Fargo Bets on Charlotte Trading After BofA Flees

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