Wells Fargo Asset-Management Unit Expands Into Private Credit

(Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co.’s asset-management unit is expanding into private credit for middle-market companies, naming Brian Van Elslander to lead the operation.

Van Elslander joined as head of private strategies from Wells Fargo Securities and will report to Kirk Hartman, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Asset Management, according to an internal memo.

“We think in the middle-market corporate debt space Wells Fargo is a natural player,” Kristi Mitchem, the unit’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “We felt that it would be appropriate to understand how we can use our expertise, our brand and our relationships to create some opportunities for clients in that arena.”

Mitchem, who took over the business in 2016, said at Wells Fargo’s investor day last month that a key growth strategy will be expanding in the debt market. The unit had $497 billion in assets under management at the end of the first quarter.

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