Wells Fargo taps former US envoy to Israel Tom Nides as vice chairman

Ex-ambassador, who also held positions at Morgan Stanley and Fannie Mae, hailed as ‘important asset’ by bank’s CEO

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides speaks at an event in Jerusalem on February 19, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides speaks at an event in Jerusalem on February 19, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Wells Fargo Bank announced Friday that former US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides will join the company in October as its vice chairman.

“The breadth of Tom’s experience across the public and private sectors will be an important asset to us as we continue to move the company ahead,” CEO Charlie Scharf said in a memo to employees.

“Tom has managed large institutions, interacted with countless government officials, developed critical relationships with key business leaders and community groups, and seen success at every level of our business,” Scharf said.

Since 2016, Wells Fargo has paid billions in settlements and financial penalties related to its business practices.

In May, the bank agreed to pay $1 billion to settle a class action lawsuit by shareholders who accused it of not having changed its management and practices quickly enough after a series of scandals.

Nides stepped down in July as ambassador after roughly 20 months in order to spend more time with his family.

A person walks past a Wells Fargo bank on May 17, 2023 in New York City (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Born in 1961 to a Jewish family in Duluth, Minnesota, Nides brought both his governmental and private-sector experience to the post.

Prior to serving as ambassador, Nides served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources in the Obama administration along with several other roles in the State Department, and senior positions at Morgan Stanley and Fannie Mae.

During his time in the role, Nides worked with three different prime ministers, starting when Benjamin Netanyahu was in office, then serving through Naftali Bennett’s term, Yair Lapid’s short stint and now Netanyahu once again.

While relations between the Biden White House and the current Netanyahu government have been tense at times, Nides was largely seen as a congenial conduit who was respected by senior Israeli officials.

US President Joe Biden has decided to nominate former treasury secretary Jack Lew to be the country’s next ambassador to Israel.

AFP contributed to this report.

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