Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 16 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.


Taking a holistic look at a company and CEO

As expected, our recent article on Wells Fargo drew a critical response bashing John Stumpf and management.

It's all fun and games to beat up on John Stumpf now, but when our country needed him — in the depth of the financial crisis when Wachovia was failing — John Stumpf was able to integrate Wachovia without losing most of their team members or their successful culture (a very difficult thing to do). In the following five years, the combined team has been able to grow the bank's revenue by another third. In addition, if you held onto your Wells Fargo stock through the crisis, you didn't lose any money.

Further, despite the incredible hours he must have been putting in with his management team on integrating Wachovia as well as navigating the crisis and recession, he focused on diversity — he hired Jimmie Paschall (who, despite her sunny demeanor, is a demanding, focused and intense executive) and dramatically improved their performance in offering opportunities and developing people inclusively. In the past five years, Wells Fargo has risen from number 26 on our Top 50 list to number 12. An amazing accomplishment, considering everything they were going through as a company, but I have personally seen how this was an integrated and holistic approach to business, led by John Stumpf himself.

You'll notice I spoke about business before diversity. That's on purpose. John Stumpf treated diversity as a business subject and executed as well as he did on everything else. Yes, huge mistakes were made in the consumer bank — but John Stumpf, after having a bad appearance in front of the Senate, has turned around and given back a huge portion of his income and the retired head of consumer banking has done the same. I have no doubt Wells Fargo will make it right with all of their customers who were wronged — and I understand efforts are also underway to try and make it right with employees who got caught up in this mess.

In the interest of full disclosure, Wells Fargo does business with my company. I do business with them. They are about 2 percent of my gross revenue, which means I could write a column saying John Stumpf is the devil himself and the resulting loss of business would not be meaningful to me. I respect John Stumpf; I think he's a great businessman and American. Especially for those of you interested in diversity, Wells Fargo is a good company and they do good things for the community and I am proud to be a customer of theirs.

Wells Fargo Observes International Day of Family Remittances, Offers Fee Waiver

Company to waive ExpressSend remittance transfer fees to all countries, payout locations June 15–18.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo & Company announced it will commemorate the International Day of Family Remittances by waiving all transfer fees for ExpressSend ® remittances sent June 15–18.

Read More Show Less

Video: Diversity is 'Un-American,' a 'Bunch of Crap,' Says Republican Congressional Candidate

Seth Grossman once said, "I do know of many Africans who wish their ancestors had been taken to America as slaves, and who are now risking their lives on flimsy boats every day to come to America."

In a room of among many of his peers — white, male conservatives — Seth Grossman pleaded his case that diversity threatens the "traditional ways that made America great" and is a "bunch of crap" supported by Democrats and communists.

Read More Show Less

13 Organizations Awarded $12.1 Million From Wells Fargo to Support Diverse Small Businesses

Funding awarded to local Community Development Financial Institutions.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo & Company announced that 13 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) around the U.S. have been selected to receive $12.1 million in lending capital and grants under the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program. The recipients are private, nonprofit financial institutions that are dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable financial products to underserved populations and communities. Many of the small and micro businesses CDFIs serve may not be ready to access capital through conventional financing methods.

The Diverse Community Capital recipients are:

  • BOC Capital Corp. - Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • California Capital Financial Development Corporation – Sacramento, Calif.
  • Cooperative Development Fund of CDS for Shared Capital Cooperative - St. Paul, Minn.
  • Cooperative Fund of New England – serving New England
  • Entrepreneur Fund – Duluth, Minn.
  • First American Capital Corporation – West Allis, Wis.
  • Hartford Community Loan Fund – Hartford, Conn.
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation – serving Los Angeles
  • Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) – San Francisco
  • Mountain BizWorks – Asheville, N.C.
  • New Jersey Community Capital – New Brunswick, N.J.
  • PeopleFund – Austin, Texas
  • Rainier Valley Community Development Fund – Seattle, Wash.

Diverse Community Capital funds will be used by the awardees to increase lending to diverse small business owners; help more diverse small business owners get the coaching and education resources they may need to grow their business; and improve, create or add resources, materials, products, or programs to better serve their target market.

Under the program, awardees also have the opportunity to participate in a social capital component, delivered by Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs. Social capital opportunities include an online learning community, working groups on specific topics, consulting, peer learning and mentoring.

"Now in its third year, the DCC program's impact on communities has been compelling," said Connie Smith, Wells Fargo's Diverse Community Capital program manager. "DCC awardees are increasing access to capital and development services for diverse small businesses in their local communities. These awards are inspiring collaboration and innovation in the CDFI industry every day."

In fiscal year 2017, Diverse Community Capital awardees closed more than $284 million in loans to diverse small business clients. That represents a year-over-year increase of 23 percent for the first 18 awardees and a 63 percent increase for the next 26 awardees. Awardees closed nearly $103 million to black or African American entrepreneurs and more than $75 million to Hispanic or Latino entrepreneurs. In addition, 76 of all development services offered by DCC awardees were delivered to diverse small businesses. Most awardees reported at least one new or changed program or product designed to increase capital deployment to their clients.

"When local businesses succeed, so do the communities where we live and work," said Mike Rizer, director of Community Relations at Wells Fargo. "By financing community businesses — including small businesses, microenterprises, and nonprofit organizations — CDFIs spark job growth and retention in communities across the U.S."

Today's announcement marks Diverse Community Capital's fifth installment, or round, of awardees since 2015. Wells Fargo has committed an additional $100 million over the next three years to CDFIs serving diverse small businesses.

Howard Schultz Steps Down as Chairman of Starbucks

From the #RaceMatters campaign in 2015 to optional racial-sensitivity training last week, Starbucks is failing in diversity and inclusion.

REUTERS

Howard Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman of Starbucks, the company announced in a press release Monday.

Read More Show Less

To earn back your trust, Wells Fargo has renewed its commitment to you. See our re-established goals at http://www.wellsfargo.com/renew.
We are re-committing to you and re-inventing how we serve you, delivering banking features like Card-Free ATM Access, and Debit Card On or Off for when you misplace your debit card. We have changed our sales policies and culture to fix what went wrong and make things right, knowing an apology is just the beginning.

Two Different Cups of Joe: How The Coffee Bean and Starbucks Handled Racism

In an age of increasing racial confrontations, a business must have zero tolerance for discrimination.

In the Trump era, there has been a proliferation of Islamophobic and racist incidents across the country. When discrimination occurs at a place of business, it's apparent if the company's leadership and workforce support diversity and inclusion. A Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café barista refused to serve a racist customer; meanwhile, a white manager at a Starbucks called the police on two Black men for no reason.

Read More Show Less