Wells Fargo Securities forms new markets division

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wells Fargo is forming a new markets division within its investment banking business that aligns services for traders as the nation's biggest mortgage lender reckons with its bigger Wall Street counterparts.

Wells Fargo & Co., which is based in San Francisco, is combining investment sales and trading operations under common leadership. The new division will fall under Wells Fargo Securities, the bank's capital markets and investment banking business. It will contain the trading of stocks, bonds and commodities, futures clearing and services for traders.

Wells Fargo has staked its reputation on its mortgage business, which accounted for much of its strength in its latest quarter. It also increased lending from a year ago. It gained its investment banking, capital markets and trading businesses when it acquired Wachovia Corp. in December 2008 during the financial crisis, but its trading unit remains smaller than those of its big competitors on Wall Street. Still, it has beefed up services for hedge funds over the past few years with acquisitions.

Walter Dolhare and Tim Mullins will lead the markets division, reporting to Shrewsberry. Dolhare and Mullins are the former co-heads of Wells Fargo Securities' Fixed Income Sales & Trading business.

Shrewsberry said the creation of the new division will help Wells Fargo better manage risk and coordinate services for clients.

Shares of Wells Fargo fell 17 cents to close at $33.73.