The Bankers: Bank of America & Wells Fargo
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By the time you read this, the muted blue-and-green signs of Wachovia will have been replaced by the red-and-orange stagecoach thingy of Wells Fargo. And the days of Charlotte being home to two of the largest banks in the world will be an increasingly distant memory. But! Wells Fargo employs 20,700 people here, give or take. It controls a lot of office space downtown and a huge campus in the University area. It has propped up the arts in the past year, allaying concerns that Wells wouldn’t support the local community. And, so far at least, its stock price hasn’t been as scary as that other bank in town. Charlotte can’t claim the top guy anymore, but several Wells bankers have sway here.
John Stumpf, CEO
What’s that? Haven’t seen Mr. Stumpf at too many Charlotte cocktail parties? That’s because the dude lives in California. He leaves it to his lieutenants to run the East Coast “hubquarters,” as they’ve taken to calling Charlotte. But still. He’s the boss.
David Carroll, Senior Executive Vice President, Wealth Management (Only local executive who reports directly to CEO)
This former First Union big shot was once rumored to be in line for the CEO seat before the events of fall 2008. Reporting directly to Wells CEO Stumpf, he’s the highest-ranking exec in Charlotte, though he mainly stays out of the public eye—except during the Wells Fargo Championship golf tourney, when his group entertains its biggest customers.
Laura Schulte, President of Community Banking, Eastern Region
She oversees all the branches on the Eastern Seaboard and was one of the first Wells execs to move to Charlotte after the merger. She’s been involved with most of the key nonprofits, such as Center City Partners and the Arts & Science Council, even if she keeps a somewhat low public profile.
Kendall Alley, Charlotte Regional President
Alley, who was with Wachovia in Atlanta before Wells Fargo took over, is the public face of the bank in Charlotte. He does the key interviews and hands over the big charitable checks. If you’re only going to schmooze one Wells banker in Charlotte, this is the guy.
Mike Rizer, Executive Vice President/Community Development Director
He has national responsibilities, heading up all community outreach for the bank. But he’s based here and he serves on a litany of local boards, including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing (which was formed to implement a ten-year plan to end homelessness here) and Foundation For The Carolinas.
Tami Simmons, Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Environmental Affairs
Wells Fargo, much to the delight of Charlotte nonprofits and schools, is cultivating quite the reputation for generosity. The bank gave away more than $7.3 million in Charlotte in 2010, and lately has become the go-to funder for arts and culture. And legacy Wachovian Tami Simmons is the one approving all those checks. She also serves on numerous boards, including the YWCA and Communities in Schools.