Wells Fargo Advisors invests $5 million in a stronger, more resilient St. Louis
ST. LOUIS – June 19, 2017 – Wells Fargo Advisors is announcing today its commitment of nearly $5 million toward regional efforts aimed at bridging racial and economic divides, creating healthier communities, and positioning individuals for financial success throughout their lives.
The investments reflect nearly 18 months of research to identify critical areas where Wells Fargo Advisors could make a difference. This strategic approach incorporates findings from regional reports. It also reflects input from the Wells Fargo Contributions Council, a group of leaders from different lines of businesses in St. Louis that convene bimonthly to discuss key issues and events.
“I love working at a place where people are so passionate about giving,” said David Kowach, head of Wells Fargo Advisors. “We’re addressing critical needs in St. Louis, while still supporting the cultural gems that make our city special. It’s great to join hands with non-profits and make a positive impact. It brings even more fulfillment to the work we do every day.”
Since 2008, Wells Fargo Advisors has addressed a multitude of needs by contributing to hundreds of non-profits throughout the region. The commitments are emblematic of a culture of giving back, which reveals itself throughout the year as team members volunteer more than 25,000 hours to schools and non-profits.
The investments aim to address four critical areas of need: diversity and inclusion; economic empowerment; environmental sustainability; and elder financial abuse prevention. In addition to a roster of enduring commitments, the company is funding five key initiatives made possible by 2017 grants:
- The $250,000 Wells Fargo Finance Education Center at Harris-Stowe State University, opened in February and will allow business and finance majors to do trade simulations and create mock portfolios — giving them skills that we hope will translate into successful careers in the financial services industry.
- A $1 million grant paid over four years and matched by the Regional Arts Commission will expose up to 2,000 middle school students to engaging arts programs and facilitated dialogues that will challenge them to embrace diversity and inclusion.
- A $100,000 grant and at least 100 Wells Fargo volunteers will support Gateway Greening’s growth efforts to create or expand 25 community and school gardens across the region, cultivating healthier neighborhoods through urban agriculture.
- A $250,000 grant program with the United Way will provide work experiences for underserved youth and help them develop “soft skills” needed to build careers, and help with permanent job placement.
- A $25,000 competitive grant to incentivize collaboration among non-profits and service providers who work to protect older St. Louisans from financial abuse and exploitation.
“Wells Fargo Advisors and United Way have a long-standing partnership, and we are grateful for the generosity and support of its leadership and team members,” said Orvin Kimbrough, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “They’re committed to creating a stronger St. Louis region through initiatives that help local individuals and families with financial literacy, education and workforce development.”
This year’s investments build upon commitments to the arts and cultural gems such as the Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis Zoo, Forest Park and the St. Louis Symphony. Wells Fargo Advisors continues to support these organizations. This year’s efforts and commitments go a step further with a more holistic approach to community development and philanthropy. It bolsters environmental and personal health through the expansion of urban agriculture at schools and in public spaces.
“Gateway Greening greatly appreciates this new grant from Wells Fargo Advisors to expand and create community and school gardens in the St. Louis area,” said Matt Schindler, executive director of Gateway Greening. “In terms of community development, access to healthy food, and sustainable land use, this partnership will improve the lives of thousands of people in a wide variety of neighborhoods across the region."
The 2017 initiatives address the importance of inclusion by leveraging the arts as an entry point. The collaboration with the Regional Arts Council (RAC) is the first initiative of its kind in St. Louis, and will engage cultural organizations throughout the region that already play a powerful role in provoking imaginations and enriching our youth.
“Both RAC and Wells Fargo Advisors share a strategic approach to grant making that will leverage local talent and resources in every discipline of the arts to make a measurable difference in the lives of young people,” said RAC Executive Director Felicia Shaw. “Students will be exposed to the best of what St. Louis’s cultural community has to offer while they enhance their own creative abilities and awareness of the world around them,” she said.
Wells Fargo Advisors developed its local strategy based on Wells Fargo’s 2020 corporate social responsibility commitments announced last April. Nationally, Wells Fargo & Co. supported 14,900 nonprofits in 2016, donating $281.3 million to organizations across the country. Wells Fargo’s team members also showed their commitment to communities by donating a total of $98.87 million to 30,000 nonprofits, including $60.7 million that was pledged during the company’s month-long Community Support Campaign last September.
In St. Louis, Wells Fargo Advisors team members pledged $3.6 million to community organizations and institutions during the campaign. They logged more than 10,600 volunteer hours.
Wells Fargo Advisors plans to publish an end-of-year report that summarizes the outcomes of their new plan and will continue to engage community stakeholders in its ongoing efforts.
About Wells Fargo Advisors
With $1.6 trillion in client assets as of March 31, 2017, Wells Fargo Advisors provides investment advice and guidance to clients through 14,657 full-service financial advisors and 4,093 licensed bankers. This vast network of advisors, one of the nation’s largest, serves investors through locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. All data includes Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, (including its predecessor firms) and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, as of March 31, 2017 www.wellsfargoadvisors.com
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 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 8,500 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 273,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.