Bloomberg News

Wells Fargo Hires UBS’s Sila, Leerink’s Berger for M&A Roles

October 06, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in the 7th paragraph.)

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co., the lender that’s expanding investment-banking operations as rivals scale back, hired two mergers-and-acquisitions bankers.

Bora Sila, previously with UBS AG, will head consumer and retail M&A, and Adam Berger will lead health-care M&A, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said today in a statement. Berger, 44, ran M&A for Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co. from 2008 until earlier this year and has worked on almost $400 billion in deals during his 22-year career, according to the statement.

“As we continue to strategically expand our capabilities and add depth to our team, their extensive relationships and industry knowledge will greatly enhance our ability,” John Laughlin, Wells Fargo’s head of M&A, said in the statement.

Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, 58, is bolstering the investment-banking unit acquired as part of Wells Fargo’s 2008 takeover of Wachovia Corp. The lender hired a team of 25 bankers and analysts from Citadel LLC in August, when the Chicago-based hedge fund opted to exit the securities business.

Sila, 50, led Americas retail investment banking at UBS, Switzerland’s largest lender, which has lost at least 50 dealmakers from its U.S. investment bank since 2009. He has advised Andrew Puzder, 61, the CEO of Carpinteria, California- based CKE Restaurants Inc., which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s hamburger chains, according to a 2008 interview.

Sila and Berger are based in New York and report to Laughlin.

Wells Fargo rose 87 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $25.37 at 4:15 p.m. in New York trading. The shares have dropped 18 percent this year, compared with a 29 percent decline for the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

--With assistance from Christine Harper in New York. Editors: Peter Eichenbaum, William Ahearn

To contact the reporter on this story: Dakin Campbell in San Francisco at dcampbell27@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.


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