Bank Watch

Top Wells Fargo community banking exec no longer with the company

Wells Fargo confirmed Wednesday that Kenneth Zimmerman, who headed Wells Fargo’s deposit products group, left the company at the end of July. Zimmerman reported directly to the bank’s former head of retail banking, Carrie Tolstedt.
Wells Fargo confirmed Wednesday that Kenneth Zimmerman, who headed Wells Fargo’s deposit products group, left the company at the end of July. Zimmerman reported directly to the bank’s former head of retail banking, Carrie Tolstedt. AP

A Wells Fargo executive who reported directly to the bank’s former head of retail banking has left the company, the Observer has learned.

Kenneth Zimmerman, who headed Wells Fargo’s deposit products group, made a personal decision to depart from the company at the end of July, spokeswoman Richele Messick said. Zimmerman left the company after initially making a personal decision in January to take a leave of absence, Messick said.

“He made a decision not to return to the bank ... (and) focus on some other priorities,” Messick said. She said Zimmerman’s departure was announced internally.

The move comes as San Francisco-based Wells is embroiled in a scandal over unauthorized accounts that regulators said branch employees opened without customers’ knowledge in order to meet aggressive sales goals.

Zimmerman had reported to Carrie Tolstedt, the executive who ran the community banking unit at the center of the controversy. Tolstedt also announced in July plans to retire at the end of this year, but last week the bank said Tolstedt has already left the company.

Zimmerman had been with Wells for 19 years and like Tolstedt was based in San Francisco, Messick said. An investor presentation in May listed Minneapolis-based Ed Kadletz as the bank’s new head of deposit products.

Last month, the bank disclosed that Claudia Russ Anderson, the top risk manager for community banking, had begun a six-month leave of absence and been replaced in her role.

A source familiar with the issue said 58-year-old Anderson, who has been with the company for more than three decades, has two elderly parents who needed her help.

In other developments Wednesday, Chicago is severing business ties with Wells for a year over the scandal. A measure, approved by the city council with support from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will freeze the bank out of any work with Chicago, including underwriting its bonds.

Wells Fargo said it’s “disappointed” that Chicago moved to end its “relationship with one of the nation’s safest and strongest financial institutions at a time when the city needs access to dependable financial partners.”

Bloomberg News contributed

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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