The FINANCIAL — On July 23, Wells Fargo announced the formation of a new Innovation Group, which will work in partnership with its major businesses to meet evolving customer needs and stay ahead of the shifting competitive landscape. Steve Ellis, who had served as the head of Wholesale Services, has been named the leader of the new group. Ellis reports to Hope Hardison, who will assume the role of chief administrative officer (CAO) when Pat Callahan retires August 31. The CAO group now includes Human Resources, Corporate Communications, Enterprise Marketing, Government and Community Relations, and the Innovation Group.
“Creating the Innovation Group puts an even larger focus on creating the products, services, and technologies that will allow us to stay competitive and allow our customers to do their banking when, where, and how they would like,” said John Stumpf, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo.
The Innovation Group will be focused primarily on five core areas: research and development; innovation strategies; payment strategies; design and delivery; and analytics, according to Wells Fargo.
“The end goal is for the Innovation Group to serve as a catalyst for the company to quickly transform its business models, processes and programs, and user experience all while successfully managing within an enhanced risk and regulatory environment,” said Ellis, a 28-year veteran of Wells Fargo who will remain based in Los Angeles.
Initially moving with Ellis to the new group will be three of his Wholesale Services teams, including payment strategies, research and development, and social strategy and collaboration‡. Other teams and team members from across the enterprise are expected to become part of the Innovation Group over time.
Ellis is known for leading the efforts that, 15 years ago, resulted in Wells Fargo establishing the industry’s first single sign-on point of access to a variety of financial services for businesses. Today, the Commercial Electronic Office (CEO) portal, and CEO Mobile® that launched in 2007, offers banking services to commercial, corporate, and institutional customers in more than 190 countries.
The Wholesale Services team also recently launched the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, now in its third round of funding and mentoring select global startups, with the aim of helping to advance innovative technology solutions for the financial services industry, ranging from omnichannel solutions, to biometric authentication, to beacon technology and much more.
Added Ellis, “Today we are seeing new financial service models and smaller competitors with different economics and restrictions that can operate at a faster pace. But no one knows our customers better than we do, and our new Innovation Group can leverage that knowledge to deliver great new solutions to our retail, commercial, and corporate customers.”