Also, the Strong name will disappear from its 69 mutual funds in April. The combined fund family, which will be known as the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, will be made up of 120 funds. Wells Fargo is developing branding initiatives for the newly combined fund business.Strong portfolio managers joining Wells Capital Management Inc. include Richard Weiss and Ann Miletti, co-managers of the Strong Advisor Common Stock and Strong Opportunity funds.
Ted Disabato, senior vice president and chief investment officer in Chicago for the investment-consulting group of Clark Consulting Inc., is among consultants Wells Fargo visited last month. The clients Clark Consulting had with Strong were mainly in its small-cap value strategy, he said.
"We're recommending to clients to stay in those (Strong) portfolios," Mr. Disabato said, noting the fund is managed by Charles Rinaldi, who oversees small/midcap value equity from New York.
"Charles has a long-term contract with Wells Fargo and we see that as relatively stable," Mr. Disabato said.
Overall, Strong clients who moved to Wells Fargo experienced one blackout day as a result of the conversion. They were able to maintain similar payroll formats, and other than one stable value fund, kept their existing fund lineups, Ms. Nordquist said in an interview.
One big plus for Strong's former clients, she said, is access to fiduciary services that Wells Fargo offers in-house.
"Particularly with what Strong clients had gone through, they were excited we'd bring the compliance and regulation side to the table," Ms. Nordquist said.
The addition of Strong's $2 billion in defined contribution assets boosted Wells Fargo's 401(k) business between 10% and 15%, Ms. Nordquist said.
Among the 40 Strong employees in institutional trust services that accepted employment offers from Wells Fargo, about half are in the participant communication and education group. They have remained at Strong's former headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wis. Five sales representatives also joined from Strong; they are located across the United States. Other functions such as record keeping are being run out of Wells Fargo facilities in Roseville, Minn., while marketing is spread between Menomonee Falls and Minneapolis.
"We had good acceptance" of the offers that were extended (in institutional trust services)," Ms. Nordquist said. "We certainly have some fairly aggressive growth plans for the year and will hire as needed."
Overall about 650 of Strong's 900 employees were offered jobs with Wells Fargo in various departments.