CHICAGO (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said on Friday he is a “big believer” in Wells Fargo & Co Chief Executive Tim Sloan and that the scandal-hit bank is now on a good path.
The world’s largest asset manager is Wells Fargo’s fourth-biggest shareholder, owning a 3.65 percent stake as of its latest filing at the end of 2016.
Wells Fargo’s board faced a contentious annual meeting on Tuesday in which Sloan and Chairman Steve Sanger were repeatedly interrupted by small shareholders criticizing their oversight of the bank, where low-level employees struggling to hit aggressive sales targets signed up customers for as many as 2.1 million accounts without their authorization.
According to Wells Fargo’s final tally released on Friday, just three board members received more than 90 percent of shareholder support, and four directors, including Sanger, got less than 60 percent.
Sloan, however, a long-time Wells Fargo executive who became CEO after predecessor John Stumpf resigned in October, received 99 percent support.
“I‘m a big believer in Tim Sloan. I actually had lunch with him this week, and I think Wells Fargo’s on a good, new path,” said Fink, speaking at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Chicago; Writing by Dan Freed; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli