Wells Fargo & Co., which has been renewing its appetite for acquisitions lately, is interested in buying insurance sales businesses, its chief executive said on Thursday.
“I love the insurance distribution business,” John Stumpf said at a Sanford C. Bernstein conference for investors.
Wells Fargo’s insurance brokerage business is already one of the biggest in the world and the largest affiliated with a bank.
The fourth-largest U.S. bank by assets is the biggest seller of mortgages, used car loans and middle-market loans in the United States and those borrowers “all need insurance,” Stumpf said.
The CEO also repeated remarks from bank executives on May 22 that Wells wants to build its retail brokerage and wealth management businesses. He issued the standard warning, however, that the bank will be “very, very careful” on not paying too much for any purchases.
Stumpf said he has no interest in buying a retail banking business outside the United States.
As he did at the bank’s investor day for analysts last week, Stumpf pushed back against the notion that big banks have grown too large to manage, a notion that has gained attention after JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $2 billion-plus trading blunder.
“Wells is not too big to fail and not too big to succeed,” he said.
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