A message from our CEO
I would like to say thank you to all of our clients, investors, and employees during these unprecedented times. Please know that all of us at Wells Fargo Asset Management remain focused on your safety and wellness, while also ensuring the integrity of our business operations.
In the video below, I take a few moments to review the four phases we have experienced as a business through this crisis. We have progressed through some of these phases already and anticipate more opportunities and challenges in the remaining phases ahead of all of us.
Thank you for giving us the privilege of serving you during this unprecedented time. We are here to help.
Nico Marais: I am Nico Marais, the CEO of Wells Fargo Asset Management. I trust that you and your families are safe and well. Koemie and I, and our son, George, and Lana, his girlfriend, are in our house in San Francisco and we’ve been going from strength to strength in our cooking. The quality of cooking in the house and my vegetable garden have never looked so good. I want to share with you some thoughts and reflections since my letter to you in early March, just with the onset of COVID. And, basically, we've been going through four phases since that time and I want to share my view on these. The first phase, starting in March, was all focused on BCP, our business continuity, and making sure that the firm would be operating and would be able to manage your money in a safe and controlled manner. I’m very pleased to say that we have moved to BCP without any disruption. I’m very proud of all our operational and technology team members that have worked so hard to make sure that the transition to work-from-home is being seamless. The second phase, and these are interrelated, was more about portfolio analytics and truly understanding the impact of market volatility and the changing market levels on every single one of our portfolios. And again, I’m very proud that we were able to manage through times where liquidity was a real concern, that we were able to commit and satisfy the requests that many of you’ve had, and that our portfolio managers are intentionally focusing right now on being on the right side of change. And we are in the third phase right now. The adrenaline has dropped somewhat and our focus is predominantly on the well-being of our team members. We have hired external experts to do well-being courses for our team members. We have an intense debate within the firm around what a post-COVID environment will look like. How would we be working? How would we be traveling? And I think that's a healthy debate to have. And finally, through our culture committee, we are continuously working on broadening our diversity and inclusion and strengthening, what I believe, is a unique culture, a culture that’s built on three pillars. There’s a true gene of kindness that I find in Wells Fargo Asset Management that is truly inspiring every day. A focus on execution, and a focus on excellence. All those, when we put those three together, the outcome is trust. Trust in us among ourselves; trust from our regulators; and then really important, trust from you, our investors, on our ability to manage your money. The fourth phase is about the future and we think hard about what the world would look like post-COVID. I don't have the answers, but there are a number of roads and possibilities and scenarios that we think hard about. And we’ve been in discussion with many of you around these topics. What would our portfolios look like? Gold and equities and bonds all went down at the same time. There was limited diversification for a period in March. What are the returns on bonds going to be going forward? How are we going to generate income if companies are unable to pay dividends? We might be in a deflationary period. What if we see inflation or remain in a Japanese economic environment? What are private markets going to look like post-COVID? And what are the opportunities, for example, in private loans? And then ESG, a key priority for us. How would ESG look like post-COVID? These are the discussions we’re having with many of you, and I would invite you to engage us because, jointly, they are parts and components of our future that we could be the master and the destiny of. I’m very proud to share with you that Wells Fargo Asset Management, at the end of March, has reached a record AUM of $518 billion. We’ve had record inflows in Q1 into our money market and Galliard funds. And we appreciate your trust, especially in such difficult times, that in a flight to quality, so many of you have turned to Wells Fargo Asset Management. We don't know what the future would look like, but we certainly collectively think hard and debate and really work through the issues. We see the opportunities. We see and, collectively, all of us will get through this hopefully in a much better position. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.
Our most recent commentary:
Additional information and resources
For more of our commentary, visit our Insights Center, and the AdvantageVoice blog. And please reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Your team at WFAM stands ready to help you navigate these uncharted territories.