Wells Fargo’s Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement (WBR) division has launched Wells Fargo Investment Institute (WFII), bringing together the investment research, strategy, manager research and publications teams from WBR’s four lines of business to create a single group with a goal of providing world-class advice to the company’s financial and wealth advisors and clients.
WFII’s team of experienced analysts and strategists will seek to provide superior economic and market research and advice to help its advisors deepen client relationships and better achieve clients’ investment goals.
“WFII structures our investment team to deliver our best thinking, our best ideas and our best solutions for the benefit of our clients,” says David Carroll, head of Wells Fargo WBR. “Wells Fargo has a long history of putting clients’ needs first; this is one more way we will continue to do that.”
WFII will initially be comprised of the manager research, alternative investments and national investment strategy teams that were previously part of Abbot Downing (which serves ultra-high-net-worth clients), Institutional Retirement and Trust, Wells Fargo Advisors and Wells Fargo Private Bank.
The company has named Darrell Cronk WBR’s chief investment officer and president of WFII. The WBR CIO was previously held by Dean Junkans, who is retiring at the end of this year. Prior to his promotion, Cronk served as deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.
“Darrell has been a valued member of our investment team for more than two decades,” Carroll says. “He brings a well-rounded understanding of the investment business and a thoughtful approach to management. I’m confident in his ability to excel in this new role, and I’m excited about the launch of Wells Fargo Investment Institute and the value it will bring to our clients.”
Cronk has held a number of investment leadership positions with The Private Bank, including regional chief investment officer, senior director of investments, regional investment manager, portfolio manager and financial advisor across a number of regions within Wells Fargo. Cronk received a master’s degree in finance from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Iowa State University. He was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst®designation in 1997.
“WFII brings together a tremendous amount of investment expertise, talent and experience,” says Cronk. “I’m excited to lead this new group and enhance our efforts to deliver a consistent experience — and our best solutions — to our clients.”