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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Wells Fargo Niche Markets

The view from the Wells Fargo regional headquarters in Encino spans nearly the whole San Fernando Valley. But when Vince Liuzzi looks out, he sees a landscape of another kind a continuing story of immigrants coming to America and making their way toward the American dream. So when Liuzzi, who is president of Wells’ San Fernando Valley Community Bank, saw a growing population of Persian and Iranian immigrants in the Valley, he took a lead role in adding a Persian and Iranian resource group to the support services Wells provides for its team members. “I come from a family of immigrants, and so many people immigrate in the Valley that I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure my customers feel good about Wells Fargo,” Liuzzi said. “I saw a need to support some very special team members first by putting together this resource group. To me it was in response to what I saw happening in my market.” The Caspian Connection resource group is one of 10 different resource groups at Wells, including councils for those of Hispanic, Arab, Asian American, African American, Asian Indian and Native American descent as well as gay, lesbian and transgender team members and disabled team members, that meet to network for career advancement and to share ideas and experiences. The groups, which have grown from eight in 2000 to 107 throughout the bank today, are part of a larger directive at Wells that seeks to connect its employees with its customer base with recruitment, staffing and promotion programs that reflect the diverse customer base Wells serves. Among the five district managers who report to Liuzzi, who is also a member of the 35-person corporate diversity council, are an African-American, a Greek American, a district manager of African and Asian descent, a Hispanic and a Caucasian. The two Valley offices for business banking, in Sherman Oaks and Santa Clarita, are both headed by Hispanics. And the bank’s Valley store managers are just as likely to speak Farsi, Pashtu, Spanish or Armenian in addition to English. Bankwide, of Wells’ 166,000 staff members, 33 percent are ethnically diverse. Of the bank’s 21,994 managers, some 22 percent come from ethnically diverse backgrounds and 16 percent of the bank’s senior managers are ethnically diverse. The Wells diversity program focuses on workforce development with mentoring, networking and talent management services that help team members connect with senior management and enhance their growth opportunities. The bank also runs workshops to help employees bring diversity into everyday conversation, exploring the ways in which preconceived notions impact communications and, ultimately, performance. To prepare to take its program to the next level, Wells has begun surveying its team members about its diversity initiatives. Those results and other work will serve as a foundation to develop diversity accountability guidelines that are expected to roll out next year. “There will be common goals and measurements for all senior managers,” Liuzzi said. “We’re in the middle of putting the metrics together.”

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