Ever since he was called on to be CEO of Wells Fargo, Tim Sloan says he’s been doing a lot of listening. He was thrust into the job in October of 2016 after his predecessor was forced out for his handling of a messy sales scandal at the bank.
Sloan tells us that one of the people he’s been listening to is Warren Buffett. Lucky for Sloan, the billionaire investor who is widely respected for his views on trust and reputation, also happens to be the bank’s largest shareholder.
“He walked me through the challenges he inherited at Salomon Brothers and how he handled them,” says Sloan, referring to the time when Buffett stepped in to rescue the Wall Street firm during a bond-trading scandal in the 1990s.
But more than anything, Sloan was reassured by Buffett’s stamp of approval.
“He was kind enough to say I was doing a good job. So I’ll take that,” recalls Sloan, adding, “He’s also very optimistic about our future, too, and he’s been public about that.”
Sloan says he’s also “very optimistic” about the future of the 165-year-old banking institution. But he admits that there’s plenty for him to do to rebuild trust with the bank’s customers, investors, and employees. As he puts it, “A page doesn’t turn and everything is fine the next day.”