A Century of History

When the Wells Fargo Advisors of Evansville – formerly Thomson McKinnon – opened in 1915, a gallon of gas cost $0.25. In the financial world, the Dow Jones Industrial average would close around 99 points. Over the next 100 years, through the rising and falling economy, Wells Fargo would continue to grow in the Tri-State.

“We are the oldest brokerage firm in the city of Evansville,” says Nancy Bach, branch manager. “We’re excited about 100 years, but we also are excited about the fact we have the longest tenure within the city.”

The firm carried the name Thomson McKinnon until 1989 when it was sold to Prudential-Bache. Prudential sold to Wachovia Securities in 2004. The move to Wells Fargo happened in 2008, when the large bank bought Wachovia. To celebrate the anniversary, Wells Fargo’s corporate office has loaned a piece of its art collection to the Evansville Museum of Arts, Science and History. The exhibit of landscape paintings will be available through Aug. 9.

One hundred years is a significant milestone in many ways. For Bach, a University of Evansville alumna, an exciting aspect is the service to families in the Tri-State.

“Many advisors are on their third or fourth generation of families whose relatives started here back in 1915,” she says. “Our office manages more than 12,000 accounts. When you look at those numbers, you realize we touch a lot of people’s lives.”

Bob Zimmermann Sr., who will celebrate 50 years with the firm before he retires next year, agrees the relationships he has built has been a highlight. “I’ve enjoyed the ability to help families invest over a long period of time,” he says.

Both note the many changes in the industry over the years, from the number of market shares to the technology brokers use. It is a reason why the business is intriguing, says Bach.

“The Dow average in 1915 was at 99, and today we’re at more than 18,000 points. The industry has gone more from transaction-based to more advice-driven,” she adds.

As for the future of Wells Fargo, Bach and Zimmermann agree the firm will continue to grow in the Tri-State.

“When Wells Fargo bought Wachovia, they made a huge commitment to the brokerage division. That’s why I think another 100 years is doable,” says Bach.

“It will prosper,” adds Zimmermann. “I think they’ve got a good long-term strategy and they consider us one of the key elements.”

For more information about Wells Fargo Advisors, call 812-425-6251 or visit wellsfargoadvisors.com.

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