Man of the Month May 2013: Chip Flannagan


Senior Vice President/Regional Director, Wealth Management, Wells Fargo Private Bank

Launching the wealth management group at Wells Fargo Chicago in 2007, Chip Flannagan grew his team from 5 to 90 in just six years. What caught TCW’s attention is the fact that half the executives are women. “Having two daughters, 11 and 13, has sensitized me to the issues that face professional women,” shares Mr. Flannagan. “As a male leader I’m not going to pretend to know what all of the important issues are, so when 20 Wells Fargo women executives asked to create a professional women’s committee to address women’s issues, I said, ‘Absolutely.’”

Through the women’s initiative, Mr. Flannagan wants to demonstrate that Wells Fargo is committed to having a diverse workforce and providing ample opportunities. “Reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In was another eye-opener for me,” he says. “Now more than ever, I’m proactive in looking for women that have the talent and ability to be in more powerful positions but, for whatever reason, haven’t raised their hands or ‘leaned in.’ For me personally, I want to go that extra mile to level the playing field and provide a forum for professional women.”

When it comes to wealth management, Mr. Flannagan was once quoted stating, “Chicago would be a high growth wealth management market in years to come.” That was five years ago, and Mr. Flannagan still stands by that statement. “Think about how competitive the wealth management industry is here in Chicago. There are a number of high-end wealth providers, so there’s a lot of competition. But at the same time there’s a lot of opportunity here. To come in here from a complete start-up, compete against these other big names and not only build a business but grow it as big as we have is proof we were right in our bet years ago that this was going to be a high growth market for Wells Fargo.”

And in Chicago, Mr. Flannagan is seeing more and more women coming to Wells Fargo to manage their wealth. “We’re getting more opportunities to work with high net worth/ultra high net worth female executives and business owners,” he says. “And I think that, from my chair, I know there are differences between men and women when it comes to wealth management. But as I’ve said, I’m not going to pretend to know all the important issues facing women in business, and that’s where the women’s initiative comes in. We have the opportunity to address money management from a woman’s perspective, and that’s what I want this group to do. I am willing to play an active role in this committee, but I can also sit back and learn from these women.”

Matt Ferguson Photograph


About Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams is TCW's managing/digital editor. She manages day-to-day editorial operations of the monthly print publication, website and social media outlets, contributes to a variety of feature articles and directs a team of interns, freelance writers and bloggers. In early 2013, she led the redesign of of TCW's brand strategy. Her blog, "Carrie On," is a blog of reflection and discovery, discussing how to push through life when you’re handed one too many curveballs. And finally, Ms. Williams is also executive director of the TCW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting underfunded women's and children's organizations.