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Merkel Out/Reese in/Wells Fargo Finance

According to a very reliable source, Mark Merkel, president of Wells Fargo Finance was shown the door last Friday. This morning Wells Fargo announced to its employees Wells Fargo Financial will integrate its two leasing businesses that serve the commercial client market - Wells Fargo Financial Leasing and Wells Fargo Financial Capital Finance - into a single business unit to carry the Wells Fargo Financial Leasing name.

Tim Reese, Wells Fargo Financial Capital Finance, will now lead WFF Leasing. Mark Merkel, who has been president of Wells Fargo Financial Leasing , is leaving the company.

Reportedly when Wells Fargo purchased Greater Bay Bancorp last year that the MATSCO executive team was having difficulties in executive leadership and the numbers began reflecting this.

A press release was issued this afternoon confirming the promotion of Tim Reese:

The announcement of the integration of the two business units has been made by Dave Kvamme, president and COO, Wells Fargo Financial, and Greg Janasko, senior vice president , commercial businesses. The changes are effective immediately.

"By uniting our two leasing businesses we will strengthen Wells Fargo's presence in the commercial marketplace through the outstanding product mix and client-centered sales team that a larger organization can provide," Greg said. "We are excited about this opportunity and at the same time we want to thank Mark Merkel for his role over the years in building Wells Fargo Financial Leasing into a solid commercial business."

In his new role, Tim will remain in Lincolnshire, Ill., where Capital Finance has been based, and will continue to report to Greg Janasko. Along with Tim's current direct reports, Daniel Dunn, Jack Haynes, Joe Willey, Brad Cronin and Art Meyers, will now report to him.

WFF Capital Finance became part of Wells Fargo on October 1, 2007, with the company's acquisition of Greater Bay Bank, a California banking organization. Capital Finance provides financing through manufacturer-sponsored programs for a variety of equipment, including materials handling and compact utility equipment, copiers and fax systems, medical equipment and mailing technology. Wells Fargo Financial Leasing , founded in 1977, provides lease financing for office, medical, telecommunications and technology equipment to mid-market companies, medical practices and agricultural businesses throughout the U.S.

Wells Fargo Financial Leasing now will have more than $2.4 billion in lease financing in force with over 180,000 active accounts and more than 5,000 vendor and manufacturer relationships.

Tim was among the founding partners of Capital Finance which was known as Greater Bay Capital until early 2008. He served as the president of the company until the merger into Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo & Co. acquired Greater Bay Bancorp in August, 2007 for $1.5 billion in stock.

Through the acquisition, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo received the East Palo Alto-based Greater Bay's (NASDAQ:GBBK) $7.4 billion in assets and 41 branches in the region, which operate as Mid- Peninsula Bank, Bank of Petaluma , Golden Gate Bank , Coast Commercial Bank , Peninsula Bank of Commerce , Mount Diablo National Bank, and Santa Clara Valley National Bank .

Wells Fargo also acquired Greater Bay's ABD Insurance and Financial Services business and Matsco Financial Corp., which specializes in loans to dentists and veterinarians.

At the time of the aquistion, Wells Fargo had control of an estimated 21 percent of deposits in the San Francisco Bay area.


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