A number of the old guard of senior managers in the wealth management business at Wells Fargo & Co. have been leaving over the past couple years. At least one, Jack Ginter, has rapidly built a substantial new enterprise over that time.
Ginter was the president of Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo’s elite private bank for its richest clients, until he left in September 2021. Six months later, the giant bank said it was dropping the Abbot Downing name for managing ultra-rich clients’ money as Wealth & Investment Management head Barry Sommers overhauled the wealth management business.
Under CEO Charlie Scharf, Wells Fargo has streamlined units, including Wealth & Investment Management, and exited nonessential operations as part of an effort to move the bank past years of scandals.
The bank’s streamlining has resulted in management shakeups, including Ginter. His new registered investment advisor firm, Callan Family Office, based in suburban Philadelphia, opened in February 2022 and already has $3.5 billion in client assets.
Ginter was traveling on Monday and could not be reached to comment, according to a spokesperson for Callan Family Office. A spokesperson for Wells Fargo declined to comment when asked about Ginter’s new firm.
Seven of the individual partners at the firm listed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission formerly worked at Abbot Downing, according to those executives’ LinkedIn profiles.
A number of former Wells Fargo wealth management senior executives are working on second or third acts in the financial advice industry. InvestmentNews reported last week that a group of senior executives from Wells Fargo Advisors, led by former head David Kowach, have a $40 million war chest and plan to embrace a registered investment advisor aggregator and roll-up strategy.
Industry observers noted that private banks and family offices like Callan and the defunct Abbot Downing only work with the richest and most profitable clients, who carry accounts with tens of millions of dollars of assets with them through the door. Mainstream wealth managers, like the financial advisors at Wells Fargo Advisors, target far less elite clients, or those with a minimum of $500,000 to $1 million in assets.
“There’s seemingly been a lot of movement from the old Abbot Downing side of Wells Fargo,” said one industry executive, who asked not to be identified. “But across the board, we’re seeing more private bankers leave a variety of firms, which in the past was difficult. There’s always been the issue of the portability of client assets, and the long waits of garden leave have meant private bank advisors have to sit on the sidelines.”