Wells Fargo shuts down stock research ops

Source: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) said today that Wells Fargo Securities LLC, its investment banking subsidiary, will discontinue providing sell-side institutional equity brokerage and research products and service, effective immediately.

It will continue to provide investment banking advice and services, including mergers and acquisitions services, fairness opinions, debt and equity capital markets advice, private equity placements and retail syndication.

"Continuing to develop the institutional equity business does not make business sense for Wells Fargo because of the buy-side shift to electronic trading, the overall decline in commission rates and because this business does not align with our middle-market and corporate customer focus," said John Hullar, Wells Fargo Securities senior managing director. "In this changing environment, despite outstanding effort by our team in this business, we're simply not able to earn the return on our investment that we need to grow this business and successfully leverage it to satisfy more of our customers' financial needs. We'll make every effort to work with team members affected by this decision to help them find opportunities elsewhere in Wells Fargo." Headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo Securities has trading and research operations in San Francisco, New York, Portland, Chicago and Boston.

Wells Fargo will continue to offer fixed income institutional brokerage services through Wells Fargo Institutional Brokerage and Sales, which trades $20 billion in fixed-income and other securities daily through 100 registered brokers. Wells Fargo Investments, LLC will continue to provide retail brokerage and research services to private clients and access to research from Standard and Poor's, Credit Suisse First Boston and Ragen MacKenzie.

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