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Wells Plans to Add 1000 Jobs in Iowa

Home & consumer finance unit building two office buildings

May 11, 2004

By COCO SALAZAR


The mortgage and consumer arm of Wells Fargo & Co. has expanded its Iowa site plans, which will give room for hundreds of new employees.

Wells Fargo's Home & Consumer Finance Group plans to build three office buildings and one training center in West Des Moines, Iowa, spokesman Kevin Waetke told MortgageDaily.com. While the three buildings have the capacity to hold 4,500 employees, he said the group continues aiming at housing 3,300 employees.

According to Wells' Web site, the Home & Consumer Finance Group includes four businesses; Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, the Consumer Credit Group and Corporate Trust Services.

The division initially announced in October that it would build two office buildings to house the 3,300 employees, but determined that given their needs for growth and the layout of the property, three buildings would be more appropriate, Waetke said. The plan continues that 2,300 of the workers will be existing residential mortgage and consumer credit employees who currently operate from ten leased facilities throughout the Greater Des Moines area. The remaining 1,000 positions will consist of new employees that the Home & Consumer Finance Group plans to hire in the coming years.

The mortgage unit, which is one of the largest originators in the country, previously announced it was opening six new centers in Hispanic areas of Los Angeles and planned to hire more than 100 home loan consultants as a result.

"Wells Fargo is focused on growth," he added. "Our business shattered records last year. We need work space in our buildings designed with an eye toward continued and future growth," both in business and staffing numbers.

While Wells is planning for growth, the mortgage industry as a whole is bracing for layoffs -- with up to 100,000 mortgage layoffs expected by the end of 2005.

Wells' spokesman said the site was selected due to a number of key factors, including accessibility -- three interstate highway access points once surface streets are completed, its potential to support future growth and availability of nearby amenities.

The company plans to begin construction in July, and expects to have the buildings completed and have employees move in by the fourth quarter of 2005, Waetke said. Campus construction is scheduled to be complete by first quarter of 2007.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

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