Nicolaas Marais, who for the past several months served as Wells Fargo Asset Management's interim co-CEO, has been tapped as the permanent leader of the unit, the company said Thursday.
Mr. Marais replaces Kristi Mitchem, the former chief of Wells' asset management unit, who exited the firm in January to join BMO Global Asset Management as CEO. He has been appointed CEO and head of WFAM, effectively immediately, according to a news release from the company.
"We have an outstanding team at WFAM, and I am confident that Nico is the right leader to take the business forward as it continues to grow and serve as a true partner to our clients," Jonathan Weiss, head of Wealth and Investment Management at Wells Fargo, said in a statement in the news release. "WFAM is a key part of our overall strategy, and the business has a long track record of delivering innovative solutions and ideas to help our clients achieve their financial goals."
In April, Mr. Weiss said in an interview that Ms. Mitchem's January departure was "her decision and a surprise decision." Afterwards, WFAM appointed global CIO Kirk Hartman and Mr. Marais, who was president and head of multiasset solutions at the time, as interim co-CEOs of the $476 billion asset management business.
Mr. Weiss also said that Wells Fargo was focused on looking within its talent pool for its next asset management leader.
Mr. Marais joined Wells Fargo in February 2017 from Schroders, where he was head of multiasset investments and portfolio solutions. He has also previously served as the global head of active portfolio management for BlackRock's multiasset and client solutions team, as well as global head of investment strategy and head of active equity-Europe for Barclays Global Investors.
With Mr. Marais' appointment, Mr. Hartman will continue to serve as CIO, and also add the role of president of WFAM to his duties. Mr. Hartman will work closely with Mr. Marais in his new role, according to the news release.
At parent Wells Fargo & Co., the firm has yet to name its next permanent chief after Timothy Sloan stepped down in late March, as the bank continued to face intense scrutiny over its sales scandal. Currently, C. Allen Parker, who was previously general counsel of Wells Fargo, is serving as interim CEO and president.