| NEW YORK, June 12
NEW YORK, June 12 Mike Mayo, a prominent bank
analyst who became unemployed in February when his brokerage
shut down, has a new job at Wells Fargo & Co.
The San Francisco-based lender hired Mayo to make calls on
large-cap bank stocks in its securities business, according to a
statement released on Monday.
"Mike's stature in the industry is well-recognized," Diane
Schumaker-Krieg, global head of research, economics and strategy
at Wells Fargo Securities, said in a statement. "We are thrilled
to have such an influential voice in this critical sector join
our growing platform."
Big banks had been covered at Wells Fargo by longtime
analyst Matthew Burnell. It was not immediately clear whether he
had left the firm.
Mayo has garnered a reputation as a blunt critic of bad
behavior in the industry who spots trouble early.
Since the early 1990s, he has made several savvy calls on
stocks before banks - individually or as a sector - faced huge
losses. His more famous downgrades happened ahead of the dot-com
bubble bursting near the turn of the century, as well as the
more recent subprime mortgage crisis.
Mayo has a tendency to ask pointed questions during
conference calls and investor events, making himself a thorn in
the side of top executives at Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan
Chase & Co, among others.
He turned up at JPMorgan's most recent investor day less
than 24 hours after losing his job at brokerage CLSA,
identifying himself as a "free agent." He then asked Chief
Executive Officer Jamie Dimon what Mayo called a "trick
question" about the bank's brand.
Dimon responded by telling an anecdote about Mayo having
been banned from participating in analyst calls at another bank
because management found him to be "insulting." But, Dimon said,
the problems Mayo highlighted were correct, and his criticism
ultimately helped the bank improve.
"You are a brand, too, Mike Mayo," said Dimon. "You didn't
Wells Fargo itself is in the midst of an overhaul after
revelations emerged last year that thousands of employees had
opened as many as 2.1 million accounts in customers' names
without their permission to hit aggressive sales targets. The
sales abuses led to a $185 million fine, a CEO departure and
weakness in its share price.
As an analyst working at Wells Fargo, Mayo will no longer be
covering the bank.
(Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)