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Wells Fargo insiders promoted in wealth management restructuring

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Wells Fargo Advisors promoted four insiders to new executive positions as part of a restructuring of its leadership, the firm announced on Thursday.

Wells Fargo's Private Client Group branches will now be grouped into eastern and western divisions, to be led respectively by Richard Getzoff and John Alexander. The firm's existing regional structure, which is divided into 11 regions, will remain in place.

Getzoff and Alexander will be tasked with executing strategic initiatives and plans in the field, the firm says. Both executives are Wells Fargo veterans; Getzoff has been with the company for 22 years and was previously regional president for the Private Client Group, while Alexander has worked at Wells Fargo for 18 years. He recently led Private Client Group Strategy.

Among other changes, Heather Hunt-Ruddy has been named head of Client Experience and Growth, while Erik Karanik will now serve as head of Operations and Branch Infrastructure.

Hunt-Ruddy will oversee teams responsible for such areas as adviser productivity and growth, as well as cultivating next generation talent. Prior to her promotion, she was regional president for the wirehouse's Gateway Region.

Karanik's new responsibilities include overseeing operations and services in the firm's branches and other offices as well as compensation. Like Getzoff and Alexander, Karanik is a Wells Fargo veteran, having been with the firm for 27 years, according to the company. He previously led operations for the Private Client Group.

The changes come several months after David Kowach was named president of Wells Fargo Advisors, taking over a position that was left open following Mary Mack's promotion to lead Wells Fargo's community bank unit.

Kowach said that the new structure would help drive the firm's effort to better serve clients.

The changes also come the same week as Morgan Stanley's moves to cut its regions from eight to six.

Wells Fargo has not yet decided who will fill the positions left vacant by Getzoff and Hunt-Ruddy. The bank's wealth management unit has more than $1.5 trillion in client assets and over 15,000 employee and independent advisers, according to the company.

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