Wells' ultra-wealthy Abbot Downing names director of investments

Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:52pm EDT

The logo for Wells Fargo bank is pictured in downtown Los Angeles, California July 17, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The logo for Wells Fargo bank is pictured in downtown Los Angeles, California July 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) has named former Fortigent Chief Investment Officer Nathan Sonnenberg as a new director of investments for its ultra-wealthy Abbot Downing business.

Sonnenberg, a more than 15-year industry veteran, joined Wells in the Washington, D.C. area, where he will be based as a portfolio manager and head of investment management in the region.

"D.C. has such an interesting dynamic of wealth that is being created or exists in so many different veins," Sonnenberg said on Monday, referring to sectors ranging from biotechnology to the real estate market.

Sonnenberg previously chaired the investment committee at Fortigent, a Rockville, Maryland-based wealth management firm that LPL Financial (LPLA.O) acquired earlier this year. Prior to that, he was managing director of equity investments at Lydian Wealth Management and a senior analyst with CMS Financial Services.

Sonnenberg joined Abbot Downing, the newly branded ultra-high-net-worth wealth management unit Wells launched in April after combining its family wealth unit and Lowry Hill boutique subsidiary.

The unit, a part of Wells' Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement group, caters to individuals and families with $50 million or more in investable assets and has a total $30.5 billion in client assets under management.

"The biggest challenge is really just making sure that clients' expectations are in line with the market that we're living through," Sonnenberg said.

Sonnenberg joins the Abbot Downing team in the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., in addition to North Carolina and South Carolina. He is based out of McLean, Virginia, along with client management director Dawn Dale.

(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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