Dick Kovacevich, the CEO of Wells Fargo, stepped down yesterday after an enviable run at the helm of the country's fifth-largest bank. His successor will be COO John Stumpf. At a time when most financial institutions are seeking global acquisitions, the San Francisco-based bank has outperformed larger rivals while shunning overseas expansion.
It's “highly, highly unlikely” that Wells will buy a big bank outside its existing geographic footprint, said Stumpf, who plans to continue focusing on low-risk acquisitions and organic growth. The company, founded 150 years ago to provide banking, and express services via its famous stagecoaches, was purchased in 1998 by Norwest, which adopted the name.