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Wells Fargo + Wachovia = The Merger Blog

Wells Fargo gained a lot of coverage this week from the blogging community about their own launch of a blog.

This one explains the details involved in the Wells Fargo/Wachovia merger to the world at large, with the first entry from Wells' President and CEO John Stumpf. 

John says they needed to launch the blog because: "Blending cultures, combining businesses, products and systems, and
changing names will take time — two to three years — because we want to
do it right for you."

As mentioned, lots of bloggers are blogging about the blog itself (now there's a tongue twister).

Colin Henderson at The Bankwatch reports that this: "is the first example of a large company to use social media to help with a major
merger and product integration of this size."

Forrester's Jermiah Owyang says that: "While most
corporate blogs aren’t trusted, it’s refreshing to see a new type of blog
appear to meet the needs of transparency, no n-pitching, and openness with the
community –yet meet the business needs of the corporations."

Whilst Paul Penrose at Finextra disagrees: "Don't expect a warts-and-all free-for-all.  Another of the site's lead bloggers is Matt Wadley, a member of
Wachovia's corporate communications department. Matt promises that the
blog won't just be another channel for corporate PR. All the same, the information spun through this channel is likely to
be tightly controlled. If the three-year integration project starts
running into problems don't expect to hear it here first."

There are more.

My own view?

This is a long-term blog, two to three years as John Stumpf states. 

Therefore, this could prove interesting in creating a
corporate case study in how to manage a merger …  or how not to.  I doubt it's the latter though as, with
over 100 mergers successfully completed under Mr. Stumpf's belt, this one should work. 

Result?  Harvard and other business schools will watch this merger and this blog very carefully to see what transpires, as will I.

Wells tell me already that the blog is off to a good start.  After less than a day, they are already on the first page of Google, when you search for Wells Fargo
Wachovia, and that's the first page from over 2.2 million sites.  Equally, the site garnered 50 consumer comments overnight, which is more than all of Wells Fargo's other blogs combined. 

Equally, as I've reported before, Wells are good with social media.  You've even got these guys on Twitter.

Therefore, I'm interested to see how this transpires as most banks don't even do any blogging or twittering.  For example, where's the HBOS/Lloyds TSB blog, JPMorgan/Washington Mutual blog, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch blog …

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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9 comments

  1. Great write up.
    They certainly don’t seem to be censoring any comments with anti-WF/anti-Wachovia sentiment
    I wrote about the new blog yesterday:
    http://thefinancialbrand.com/2009/01/06/wells-fargo-wachovia-blog/

  2. Thanks Jeffry
    Checked out your commentary and yes, there is a caution here as discovered by NAB in Oz last year (see http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2008/10/aussie-bank-nab.html).
    I recognise the WF employee versus Wild West commentary balance and will watch this space with interest. My only caveat is that, having met the WF guys regularly, they seem far more adept at understanding this space than any other bankers I meet.
    Chris

  3. Thanks Jeffry
    Checked out your commentary and yes, there is a caution here as discovered by NAB in Oz last year (see http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2008/10/aussie-bank-nab.html).
    I recognise the WF employee versus Wild West commentary balance and will watch this space with interest. My only caveat is that, having met the WF guys regularly, they seem far more adept at understanding this space than any other bankers I meet.
    Chris

  4. Yeah, I linked to a story about the NAB blog blowback within the WF/Wachovia article: http://thefinancialbrand.com/2008/10/27/nabs-social-media-failure/
    (FYI – Your link to your NAB story is bunk. It’s including the parenthesis and period in the URL.)
    And you’re right about WF being on top of the social media space. Both Tim Collins and Ed Terpening were all over my article within hours of publishing. They’ve already taken some steps to improve the blog. Ed said he was going to add some sort of reminder to employees about commenting guidelines in/near the comment box itself. Smart, especially when you have thousands of employees.

  5. Thanks Jeffry
    Re URL – limitations of commenting in typepad. Wonder if they’ll ever put embedding of URL’s into comments .. so much more appropriate.
    Good to touch base with you too btw.
    Chris

  6. Thanks so much for your continued insights and feedback. We’re thrilled with the level of customer participation. We did change our comment form to remind employees to disclose their relationship. Hopefully, this will make an impact.
    Cheers.

  7. Thanks so much for your continued insights and feedback. We’re thrilled with the level of customer participation. We did change our comment form to remind employees to disclose their relationship. Hopefully, this will make an impact.
    Cheers.

  8. Wachovia & Wells Fargo- One Team, Twice as Shy sty!
    DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU OR YOUR SPOUSE! BEWARE OF THE NEW WACHOVIA/WELLS FARGO TEAM!
    THIS IS LITERALLY ADDING INSULT TO INJURY!
    In March of 2009, my wife’s left arm was literally sucked up into the vacuum carrier tube while she was making a routine transaction at the Wachovia Bank in Round Rock, TX. She sustained injuries requiring months of intensive therapy to her entire arm and shoulder, and still experiences a great deal of pain, though surgery has been avoided thus far. At first, they seemed so accommodating, and spoke of offering $100,000 and a vacation to keep us silent about the matter ( The Bank Manager, Kevin Johnson, and the Claims Department representative Shane Cooke stated, “Well this is nothing that a hundred thousand dollars and a vacation can’t cure” . Feeling that this must have been unfair, we enlisted an attorney for our legal protection. Since that time, they’ve offered as little as $6000.00 (which is barely enough to pay the medical expenses), and most recently, ‘a whopping $13, 000.00’, which might cover medical expenses, and attorney’s fees. My Wife and I are both Ministers, and it’s curious to think that with this level of callous abandonment of responsibility for the safety of Wachovia’s customers (Wells Fargo’s now) these Banking entities have the nerve to say how much they care about their customers and their community, when the admittance of liability in every scope of legal jurisdiction has been proven, by Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, the Bank Manager, the teller who caused the accident, the Claims Representative, and (-even by their own security cameras), yet they refuse to take adequate legal, ethical, and moral responsibility (not that they seem to understand the latter two at all, which will probably mean that we’ll have to sue them in court, and make everyone aware of the kind of treatment that they can REALLY expect from the new Wachovia & Wells Fargo Team.-One team- twice as strong? Twice as shy sty seems more like our present experience). Oh yes, and did I fail to mention that we are an African-American Couple, so I guess we should have expected the surfacing of such treatment when it comes to fairness from people with such assumed “importance and superiority”.
    This we have learned and can say: that their tactics are BRUTAL at best, they’ve been rude, condescending, and in the moral sense of decency and fairness, they would get an “F”, because if this had happened to any of them or their spouses, they would not have allowed such treatment to take place, nor would they have thought that simply because of their ethnicity that they would have been offered amounts of money for compensation that were barely fit to be categorized as ‘insulting’ to anyone with eyes and a working brain, that is)!

  9. Wachovia & Wells Fargo- One Team, Twice as Shy sty!
    DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU OR YOUR SPOUSE! BEWARE OF THE NEW WACHOVIA/WELLS FARGO TEAM!
    THIS IS LITERALLY ADDING INSULT TO INJURY!
    In March of 2009, my wife’s left arm was literally sucked up into the vacuum carrier tube while she was making a routine transaction at the Wachovia Bank in Round Rock, TX. She sustained injuries requiring months of intensive therapy to her entire arm and shoulder, and still experiences a great deal of pain, though surgery has been avoided thus far. At first, they seemed so accommodating, and spoke of offering $100,000 and a vacation to keep us silent about the matter ( The Bank Manager, Kevin Johnson, and the Claims Department representative Shane Cooke stated, “Well this is nothing that a hundred thousand dollars and a vacation can’t cure” . Feeling that this must have been unfair, we enlisted an attorney for our legal protection. Since that time, they’ve offered as little as $6000.00 (which is barely enough to pay the medical expenses), and most recently, ‘a whopping $13, 000.00’, which might cover medical expenses, and attorney’s fees. My Wife and I are both Ministers, and it’s curious to think that with this level of callous abandonment of responsibility for the safety of Wachovia’s customers (Wells Fargo’s now) these Banking entities have the nerve to say how much they care about their customers and their community, when the admittance of liability in every scope of legal jurisdiction has been proven, by Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, the Bank Manager, the teller who caused the accident, the Claims Representative, and (-even by their own security cameras), yet they refuse to take adequate legal, ethical, and moral responsibility (not that they seem to understand the latter two at all, which will probably mean that we’ll have to sue them in court, and make everyone aware of the kind of treatment that they can REALLY expect from the new Wachovia & Wells Fargo Team.-One team- twice as strong? Twice as shy sty seems more like our present experience). Oh yes, and did I fail to mention that we are an African-American Couple, so I guess we should have expected the surfacing of such treatment when it comes to fairness from people with such assumed “importance and superiority”.
    This we have learned and can say: that their tactics are BRUTAL at best, they’ve been rude, condescending, and in the moral sense of decency and fairness, they would get an “F”, because if this had happened to any of them or their spouses, they would not have allowed such treatment to take place, nor would they have thought that simply because of their ethnicity that they would have been offered amounts of money for compensation that were barely fit to be categorized as ‘insulting’ to anyone with eyes and a working brain, that is)!

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