Wells Fargo hires JPMorgan vet Rivas to boost investment bank

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Dive Brief:

  • JPMorgan Chase veteran Fernando Rivas has been named senior executive vice president and co-CEO of Wells Fargo’s corporate and investment banking business, effective immediately, Wells said Wednesday.
  • Rivas will lead the business unit alongside Jon Weiss, who’s been the CEO of that division at Wells since 2020, according to a Wednesday news release. Rivas joins the San Francisco-based bank’s operating committee and reports to CEO Charlie Scharf.
  • Rivas had more than 28 years at JPMorgan, recently serving as its head of North American investment banking. He left the bank in February, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dive Insight:

Rivas is the latest Wells hire aimed at bolstering the lender’s corporate dealmaking and trading business. In February, Wells named another JPMorgan veteran, Doug Braunstein, as vice chair, with an eye toward expanding Wells’s corporate finance and advisory operations.

During his tenure at JPMorgan, Rivas held more than a dozen titles, working his way up from analyst for Latin America credit in 1995, to co-head of JPMorgan’s global financial institutions group in the years before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Upon leaving JPMorgan, Rivas had planned to retire, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

While at the U.S.’s largest bank, Rivas put together and led investment banking franchises, oversaw a number of the bank’s largest investment-banking relationships, and was involved in high-profile strategic transactions and capital raises, Wells said in its release. Rivas was among the lead negotiators of JPMorgan’s acquisition of First Republic last year, Reuters reported.

“I am excited to partner with Charlie, Jon and the CIB leadership team to build on the strong momentum in the business, capture the enormous opportunity inherent in Wells Fargo’s franchise and deliver the excellence and humanity that are the cornerstones of an exceptional financial services business,” Rivas said in Wells’ release.

That momentum includes a 2% year-over-year increase — and a 5% jump from December — in revenue at Wells’ corporate and investment bank, according to an earnings presentation. By comparison, JPMorgan’s revenue in that business unit was $13.6 billion for the first quarter, although that figure was flat compared to the previous year, according to quarterly earnings materials.

Scharf, who spent several years at JPMorgan himself, noted he’s known Rivas for two decades.

“[I] have seen first-hand why so many CEOs regard him as one of the most talented bankers in our industry,” Scharf said. “His deep knowledge of our industry and keen strategic sense make him a great addition to our Operating Committee, and his background and skills will complement the terrific team Jon has put together.”

Weiss, too, spent 25 years at JPMorgan and its predecessors, prior to joining Wells, according to Wells Fargo’s website.

Rivas joins Wells as the bank has “been carefully and methodically investing under Jon’s leadership to deepen and broaden our capabilities” in corporate and investment banking, Scharf said in the release.

The bank has added some 50 senior bankers and traders since 2020, and those efforts have been reflected in increased revenue and market share, Scharf said. But the $1.95 trillion asset cap imposed on the bank by the Federal Reserve stands as a barrier to growth.

“We’re very sober to the fact that it’s a long-term journey,” Rivas said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Scharf in 2022 said corporate and investment banking growth presented a $1 billion opportunity with just the bank’s own customers, Reuters reported.

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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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