By Laura J. Keller, Bloomberg News
Wells Fargo & Co. named C. Allen Parker general counsel, replacing James Strother, a 30-year bank veteran who’s retiring and was among executives whose bonuses were withheld in the wake of a bogus account scandal.
Parker, 62, formerly presiding partner with Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, will start March 27 and report to Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan, the San Francisco-based lender said Monday in a statement. He’ll be responsible for all legal affairs and serve on the company’s operating committee.
“His background and corporate experience make him the ideal leader for this role as his efforts will be instrumental in helping our company continue to rebuild trust, make things right with customers and build a better Wells Fargo,” Sloan said in the statement.
Sloan, who took over in September when former CEO John Stumpf stepped down, has sought to extricate the lender from a torrent of public criticism following a scandal in the retail banking business that’s cost the firm at least $200 million so far. Strother, 65, was dissuaded from retiring last year as Wells Fargo contended with dozens of lawsuits and federal probes into the accounts scandal.
As Cravath’s presiding partner, Parker was responsible for managing the New York-based firm’s 86 partners and 1,200 staff, as well as strategic planning and business development. He has experience in areas including securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, derivative transactions and commercial bank financing. Parker served as outside counsel to the bank on a “number of legal matters,” said Arati Randolph, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman.
Wells Fargo’s board decided last week to withhold cash bonuses from Strother and seven other senior executives for their work in 2016 as it seeks to hold managers accountable for the bank’s missteps. Some compensation the executives received in 2014 was also clawed back. The board said the pay actions were not related to any findings of improper behavior.
Strother will remain at Wells Fargo for the next several months to help with the transition, according to the statement.
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