Wells Fargo revamps Sioux Falls leadership with retirement

Corey Heaton and Dan Murphy of Wells Fargo & Co.

By Jodi Schwan

Regional president Dan Murphy will retire from Wells Fargo & Co. at the end of the year, coinciding with a companywide reorganization that will alter the leadership structure in Sioux Falls.

Murphy has been with the San Francisco-based bank for 21 years and in financial services for 35 years. His planned retirement as region president for South Dakota, North Dakota and western Minnesota aligns with consolidation throughout the company.

“For me, the end game had always been to work to a predetermined age. And there was a transition happening with the company, with an opportunity for fresh faces and new ideas,” he said. “Since that all happened at the same time, the timing was perfect.”

Corey Heaton, who was area president for South Dakota, becomes region bank president for South Dakota and western Minnesota.

“The new role reduces the levels of management, increases consistency and tightens controls,” said Heaton, who has been with the bank since 2006 and is a native of Sioux City. “Sioux Falls is a strong market for us. While our branches continue to be important in servicing our customers’ needs, we’re finding that customers are often using our wide range of digital capabilities, too.”

In reflecting on his time in the market, Murphy said he has noticed a significant change in the vibrancy of the local economy.

“It gets bigger and better every year. And the momentum has really come from local community leaders,” he said. “When I first started in banking, local leaders did an assessment of the economy and found it to be basically flat. That inspired them to start Forward Sioux Falls, and over time, a new generation of leaders has taken that original opportunity to a new level. Now, Sioux Falls has the wind at its back.”

The economy has evolved from being ag-focused to being more balanced, he added, “with growing industries like health care, financial services, technology and higher education.”

Murphy is transitioning through the end of the year with work on a project for Wells Fargo. After that, he plans to continue working on a small farm he owns, potentially expanding it, and he has considered a return to teaching college or consulting.

“The thing that I’ll do for myself is take more time to live in the moment,” he said. “I hope to spend more time doing things I like with the people I value.”

Both Murphy and Heaton acknowledge recent times have been turbulent for Wells Fargo, which is still recovering from revelations that staff members created potentially millions of fraudulent bank and credit card accounts to meet sales goals.

“The company is going through difficult times, as all companies sometimes do – they have bumps in the road,” Murphy said. “But you acknowledge the mistake, correct it and vow not to do it again. That’s where Wells Fargo is — the company has been successful, and it will be again.”

The team members he managed “want to do well for the customers, the community and the company,” he added. “And most of the time, they get a great result. I’m really pleased I was able to help a few people develop their careers.”

Heaton said in spite of the challenges, it’s an exciting time to be at the company.

“As Dan said, we are going through some tough times, but we are rebuilding trust and transforming our culture to be more customer- and service-focused than ever. So I’m looking forward to improving the Wells Fargo experience for our customers and team members.”

The company’s innovation group has rolled out several new tools, including mobile credit score reports, card-free ATM access, the ability to turn a debit card on or off through an app and person-to-person payments through the mobile app Zelle.

Heaton also is encouraging community involvement, including collecting food at all branches this holiday season for Feeding South Dakota. He’s a member of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire and serves on the community appeals committee for the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

The immediate goal, however, “is to rebuild trust and build a better Wells Fargo,” Heaton said. “We have taken a series of steps to address improper sales practices, fix what went wrong and make things right with our customers, team members and the public. I know that rebuilding trust is not going to happen overnight — it’s going to continue to take hard work — but I can really feel the difference when I’m interacting with our customers and branch teams. It’s a new energy.”

Wells Fargo has about 2,700 employees and 10 branches in Sioux Falls.

“Our team’s retention is at an all-time high, which is encouraging given Sioux Falls’ low unemployment rate,” Heaton said, who credits changes such as eliminating sales goals, listening to employee feedback and changing some processes.

“I’ve observed that people want to be here and be part of the transformation.”

Murphy’s is the second leadership retirement at Wells Fargo this year. Cathy Clark retired in June after 37 years in banking.

Cathy Clark retiring from Wells Fargo, will explore new options

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Wells Fargo revamps Sioux Falls leadership with retirement

Regional president Dan Murphy will retire from Wells Fargo & Co. at the end of the year, coinciding with a companywide reorganization that will alter the leadership structure in Sioux Falls.

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