Major gift from Wells Fargo Advisors supports initiatives at Olin, Brown schools

Firm’s recent commitments to WUSTL top $6 million

A new gift of $5,350,000 from Wells Fargo Advisors to Washington University in St. Louis will support initiatives in the university’s Olin Business School and the Brown School that are designed to enhance and strengthen teaching and research, to apply new knowledge for positive societal change and to create pathways for the exchange of ideas between business and academia.

This gift is in addition to more than $650,000 the company has recently provided the university to support entrepreneurship scholarships in the Olin Business School and other programs across the university.The new gift will fund three programs in the Olin School and one in the Brown School.

They are:

  • $4 million to endow the Center for Finance & Accounting Research (CFAR) in the Olin Business School. Renamed the Wells Fargo Advisors Center for Finance & Accounting Research, its main function is to serve as the coordinating body for all research, teaching and hands-on business experience in the areas of finance and accounting. CFAR was established in 2007 and is led by Anjan Thakor, PhD, the John E. Simon Professor of Finance and director of Olin doctoral programs.
  • $300,000 to support the Wells Fargo Entrepreneurship Internship program, established last year, which gives undergraduate business school students valuable work experience in local profit and nonprofit venture startups. This gift renews the program for the next three years.
  • $300,000 to fund the United Way Board Fellows program, also established last year, to extend the program over the next three years. The United Way/Olin partnership allows MBA students to serve a rotation on a United Way member agency’s board of directors. The students gain an in-depth understanding of the role of business leaders on non-profit boards while receiving real world experience. The participating nonprofit organizations benefit from access to talented business leaders with fresh and innovative ideas while developing future community leaders.
  • For the Brown School, a gift of $750,000 will fund the Financial Capability and Asset Building program in the school’s Center for Social Development (CSD). The three-year project, led by Michael Sherraden, PhD, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and the founding director of the CSD, will study curricula for training in financial capability. As Sherraden points out, for individuals to be financially capable, they must not only have the knowledge and skills to make optimal financial decisions, but also must have access to financial services. Researchers will propose and test new curricula, share findings among social work and family economics professionals and emphasize communication to inform national discussion.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton notes that this recent gift from Wells Fargo Advisors is in addition to its ongoing significant commitments to WUSTL beginning in 2009, shortly after the firm began operations in St. Louis. Wrighton credits Daniel J. Ludeman, president and chief executive officer of Wells Fargo Advisors, for reaching out to Washington University.

“Wells Fargo Advisors has been a pillar in the St. Louis community,” Wrighton says. “Danny Ludeman is an extraordinary leader, and I am grateful to Danny and the Wells Fargo Advisors team for their vision and generosity.

“This gift will strengthen several key Washington University priorities in business, entrepreneurship and social work, and further promote St. Louis as a top destination for students, scholars and business leaders,” Wrighton says.

Ludeman was elected to WUSTL’s Board of Trustees in 2010 and serves on the board’s asset management committee as well as the university finance committee.

“Wells Fargo Advisors is pleased to support one of the leading universities in America,” Ludeman says. “Our region is fortunate to be home to Washington University, and Wells Fargo Advisors’ contribution represents a uniquely comprehensive approach to regional development.

“It supports a variety of initiatives and groups that are critical to our region’s future growth, including research by the business community, training for future business owners, leadership for non-profits and stronger financial capabilities for families,” Ludeman says.

Mahendra Gupta, PhD, dean of the Olin Business School and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management, says that Wells Fargo Advisors’ ongoing support of initiatives at Olin is vital to the school’s mission.

“Thanks to this generous gift from Wells Fargo Advisors, we will initiate new research projects to connect the business community with our students and faculty,” Gupta says. “It will strengthen CFAR’s role as a source of cutting-edge research in finance and accounting that in turn will create new knowledge resources and practical applications for the business community.

“We are appreciative and energized by Wells Fargo Advisors’ commitment to Olin.”

Edward F. Lawlor, PhD, dean of the Brown School and the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor, also expressed his gratitude for Wells Fargo Advisors’ support.

“This generous gift enables our Center for Social Development to advance the agenda for teaching financial capability and asset building to lower-income and other vulnerable households,” Lawlor says. “This has huge implications for policy, practice and the profession of social work.”

About Wells Fargo Advisors

With $1.2 trillion in client assets as of March 31, Wells Fargo’s brokerage businesses are comprised of 15,134 full-service financial advisors and 3,352 licensed bankers.

This vast network of advisors, one of the nation’s largest, serves clients through offices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (members SIPC). Statistics include other broker-dealers of Wells Fargo & Company.

For more information, visit Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets.

Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (, and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.

With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Co. was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.