It’s not unusual for investment banks to tout their big deals with print advertisements nicknamed “tombstones.” But it’s not so common to see the former lead director of Bank of America appearing in one for rival Wells Fargo.
On Wednesday, that was the case when Wells Fargo Securities featured Temple Sloan Jr. in an ad commemorating the Jan. 2 sale of Raleigh-based General Parts International to Roanoke, Va.-based Advance Auto Parts. Wells’ investment banking arm advised General Parts on the $2 billion deal.
“When General Parts International needed strategic financial advice for the most important transaction in its history, it chose Wells Fargo Securities,” the ad says below a photo of Sloan, the founder and former chairman of General Parts, and his son, Temple Sloan III, the company’s former chief executive.
The ad appeared in the Observer and the (Raleigh) News & Observer. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo bulked up in investment banking when it bought Charlotte-based Wachovia in 2008, but it’s still a smaller player than Bank of America, which acquired Merrill Lynch in 2009.
“We are pleased to have been the trusted adviser during the most transformative moment in the history of General Parts, a long-standing client of Wells Fargo Securities,” John Laughlin, head of mergers and acquisitions at Wells Fargo Securities, said in a statement.
Temple Sloan Jr., who could not be reached for comment, founded General Parts in downtown Raleigh a half-century ago. Over time, the company developed a chain of more than 2,600 Carquest auto parts stores, plus 102 Worldpac locations that import and distribute auto parts to repair shops.
In 1996, Sloan joined the board of Charlotte-based NationsBank, which merged two years later with San Francisco-based BankAmerica to form today’s Bank of America. He became a key ally of CEO Ken Lewis and in 2006 took on the role of lead director.
Sloan, however, came under fire from Bank of America investors after the bank required a government bailout to shore up its Merrill purchase. At the bank’s shareholders meeting in April 2009, he was re-elected with about 63 percent of the vote, less than any other director, and a little more than a month later he resigned.
“Temple has been a trusted adviser who has made an invaluable contribution to the success of our company,” Lewis said when Sloan departed the board. Lewis himself retired at the end of 2009.
At Advanced Auto Parts, Temple Sloan Jr. is taking on an “advisory role” at the combined company, according to the News & Observer. Temple Sloan III will remain president of the General Parts business.