Wells Fargo Names TD Bank’s Ellen Patterson as General Counsel

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Ellen Patterson

Ellen Patterson, Business Wire

Wells Fargo announced that Ellen Patterson, TD Bank Group’s top lawyer, will join the San Francisco-based bank as executive vice president and general counsel, effective March 23.

Patterson will report to Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf and be responsible for all legal affairs at the company. She will also serve on Wells Fargo’s operating committee. Patterson succeeds C. Allen Parker, Wells Fargo’s former general counsel, who helped the bank clean up issues in the wake of a series of consumer scandals that badly damaged its reputation with regulators, lawmakers and the public. Parker briefly served as interim CEO last year while the bank searched for a new chief executive following Tim Sloan’s resignation at the end of March. Once new CEO Scharf took the helm in October, Parker returned to the general counsel role and in November, the bank announced that Parker would be leaving the company.

“Ellen is a seasoned lawyer with extensive experience in the financial services industry, where she has had responsibilities for managing and advising on global legal and regulatory compliance risks,” Scharf said in a press release. “She will play a critical leadership role on our Operating Committee as we continue to work on our company’s top priority of meeting regulatory expectations.”

Patterson worked for more than seven years at TD Bank Group, where she was most recently group head and general counsel. In that role, she was responsible for leading the bank’s global legal, compliance, anti-money laundering, corporate secretary, global security & investigations, and fraud risk management teams. Earlier, she served as general counsel for TD Bank’s U.S. banking operations.

Prior to joining TD Bank, Patterson was a partner at the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she advised financial institutions on mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, and corporate governance matters.

Patterson’s appointment comes after the announcement earlier this week that Wells Fargo chairwoman Elizabeth Duke and board member James Quigley resigned from the board after being criticized in a scathing report by the House Financial Services Committee on the bank’s efforts to fix its problems.

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