Mellon Taps Wachovia CFO as CEO

Shortly after Mellon's announcement, Wachovia reported that its treasurer will head finance.
Stephen TaubJanuary 31, 2006

Mellon Financial Corp. named Wachovia finance chief Robert Kelly as its new chairman, president and chief Executive Officer, effective Feb. 13. He succeeds Martin McGuinn, who will retire on the same day.

Shortly after Mellon made its announcement, Wachovia reported that treasurer Thomas Wurtz will succeed Kelly as CFO, effective immediately. Wurtz joined the company in 1994 and has served for the past seven years as treasurer and head of the treasury and planning division.

In announcing Wurtz’s appointment, Ken Thompson, Wachovia’s chairman and CEO, said of Kelly: “Bob has been an outstanding leader at Wachovia for the past five years, which have been pivotal for our company. During his tenure at Wachovia, we have been recognized for best-in-class financial disclosure, and our stock has returned an annualized 18 percent to shareholders compared with 7 percent for the KBW bank index.”

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Kelly had been CFO of Wachovia, the fourth largest bank holding company in the United States, since 2000. Last September, Mellon’s board launched “an extensive internal and external search” for a successor to McGuinn, who is 63 and will retire when Kelly arrives.

Before his stint at Wachovia, Kelly had spent 19 years with a major Canadian bank, which wasn’t named in Mellon’s press release. Besides his experience as a CFO, Mellon said in a release that he has extensive background in retail brokerage and banking and securities trading.

At Wachovia, besides heading up finance, Wurtz will be responsible for treasury management and planning, financial reporting, budgeting, investor relations, taxation, real estate operations, and purchasing. He will also continue as Wachovia’s treasurer until a new treasurer is named.

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