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Wells Fargo investment unit paid director's son $1.4 million

  • Article by: Dakin Campbell
  • Bloomberg News
  • March 27, 2013 - 8:47 PM

– Wells Fargo & Co., the most valuable U.S. bank, paid a board member’s son about $1.4 million last year for his work in a unit responsible for investing deposits.

Scott Quigley, 44, received the compensation as a manager in the principal investments group, according to the San Francisco-based lender’s most recent proxy filing. His father, Philip Quigley, a Wells Fargo director since 1994, is retiring from the board in April. Scott Quigley declined to comment, and his father didn’t respond to messages seeking comment. The bank declined to make them available.

“It compromises both the executive and the director,” said Nell Minow, a corporate-governance consultant at GMI Ratings who co-founded the Corporate Library, based in Portland, Maine. “If it were me advising the company, I would tell them not to do it under any circumstance.”

The principal investments group, which buys bonds with the bank’s own money and excess customer deposits, has been among Wells Fargo’s most profitable units, said three former employees who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the lender’s behalf. Jobs there are among the most sought-after by personnel seeking transfers, one of the people said.

Wells Fargo said in the proxy that Quigley is one of more than 10,000 employees in the wholesale banking group and that before he joined the firm, in 2006, his father didn’t know he had applied for a job. The bank had 269,200 workers on Dec. 31.

“The company was unaware of the family relationship with Mr. Quigley until after the job offer had been made,” Wells Fargo said in the proxy filing.

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