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Wells Fargo Introduces National Food, Beverage and Agribusiness Group


 Committed to best serving the financial needs of customers across a variety of industries, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) announced today the formation of a national Food, Beverage & Agribusiness group, part of the company’s Specialized Industries division within Commercial Banking. The group is led by 24-year industry veteran Monica Cole, who is based in Atlanta and reports to Phil Smith, head of Wells Fargo Specialized Industries.

“Wells Fargo has served the food and agriculture industry through numerous economic cycles, and we remain committed to helping farmers and food and beverage producers across the U.S.,” said Smith. “Our team of experienced bankers provide our customers with financial services and solutions that help them grow and thrive through future generations. Monica’s talent and experience make her the right person to lead the team as they support an industry that is so vital to our economy.”

As the No. 1 agricultural production lender in the U.S. for 23 consecutive years, and a leading beverage lender, Wells Fargo’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team provides financial resources to help businesses grow. Understanding risk variables inherent within the industry — including legislative, regulatory, food safety, weather, disease, consumer trends, and international trade — Wells Fargo offers specialized financing for all areas of agribusiness and food and beverage, including input supply, production, processing, wholesale distribution, and retailing.

The national business includes a tenured group of food and agribusiness industry advisors, analysts and a dedicated agribusiness economist. The advisor group provides credit-assessment support, including strategic plan analysis, industry risk assessment and peer benchmarking. Focused on providing specialized industry perspectives to agribusiness customers and understanding the impact of regional, national and global economic conditions, the team distributes an industry newsletter, Food for Thought, to provide timely insight on various food and agribusiness trends and topics. 

In addition to Cole, Wells Fargo has named the following leaders:

Jacquie Fredericks recently joined Wells Fargo from CoBank to lead the Agribusiness division for the Central region covering 16 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Based in Denver, Fredericks brings more than 20 years of industry experience providing debt capital to agricultural producers, traders, processors and branded food companies, which has allowed her to contribute to the agricultural supply chain from farm to table.

Chris Nay is based in Chicago and oversees the national Food and Beverage team for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking. With 24 years in financial services, the past 13 specifically covering the food and beverage sector, his deep knowledge of the industry and understanding of the complex food and beverage supply chains help customers achieve their goals. The team primarily works with companies in food and beverage manufacturing and distribution.

Gene Peterson, a fourth-generation family farmer, has been named to lead the Agribusiness division for the West region covering nine states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington along with Western Canada. Based in Phoenix, Peterson began his career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1985, administering agriculture, business and rural residential loans. He joined Wells Fargo in 1986. In 2006, his role expanded to oversee Wells Fargo Commercial Banking operations in addition to agribusiness lending in Arizona. He has worked in finance his entire 34-year career, 33 with Wells Fargo. 

Shannan Townsend brings more than 30 years of financial services experience to her role leading the Agribusiness team in the East, covering 25 states: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia along with Eastern Canada. Previously, Townsend led the Consumer Division within Corporate Banking where her team focused on companies with revenues exceeding $500 million in the Consumer Products, Food, Beverage and Tobacco sectors.

As previously announced, the Commercial Banking division combines three Wells Fargo businesses into one, making for a streamlined delivery model for clients with annual sales typically ranging from $5 million to $2 billion.

About Commercial Banking

Wells Fargo Commercial Banking delivers a comprehensive suite of products and industry expertise to serve the diverse financial needs of companies with annual sales typically ranging from $5 million to $2 billion. As a leader in serving commercial customers, Wells Fargo offers financial services, including credit and treasury management solutions, as well as specialized expertise across industries including Technology, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Investor Real Estate, Government, and Small Business Administration Lending. With more than 6,000 team members across 24 divisions and 80 markets nationwide, Commercial Banking provides customers with local service and decision making.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,600 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 32 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

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