Daily News: June 10, 2013

Wells Fargo Names Eastern Head of Food & Ag Division

Wells Fargo said it has named Neal Crapo to the new post of Eastern Region head for the company’s recently formed National Food & Agribusiness Division. He will lead the division’s expansion in the East, and its headquarters will be based in Charlotte.

Most recently, Crapo served as senior vice president and regional manager of the Wells Fargo Carlsbad/Desert Regional Commercial Banking Office with locations in Carlsbad, Palm Desert and Brawley, CA. He led a team of commercial banking professionals who provide loans, treasury management, and deposit products to middle-market companies and production agriculture/agribusinesses with annual sales in excess of $20 million.

“Wells Fargo is committed to serving the U.S. food and agriculture industry, and we’re recruiting top talent to lead our specialized lending team in the markets where our customers live and work,” said Rob Yraceburu, head of the company’s National Food & Agribusiness Division. “Neal and his team will leverage Wells Fargo’s national reach and financial strength to grow our support of an industry with deep roots in the East.”

Crapo, a 20-year company veteran, began his career as an intern with Wells Fargo’s Regional Commercial Banking Office in Fresno, CA. After completing the credit management training program, he returned to the Fresno office as a relationship manager. There, the customer base was 66% agribusiness, ranging from dairy and nuts to row crops and vineyards. Crapo’s experience in financial services includes more than 12 years managing commercial banking relationship portfolios. In 2002, Neal was a loan team manager in the New Mexico RCBO, and in 2006 he was tapped to open and head a new Commercial Banking office in Visalia, California, more than 90 percent of the customers were agribusinesses.

“My family and I are excited for the East Coast move,” said Crapo. “The food and agribusiness industry is full of great people and great businesses, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to build out longstanding relationships with the wide variety of customers in the region.”

In April, Wells Fargo announced the appointment of Yraceburu as head of its new national line of business. Formerly, Wells Fargo served agribusiness through its network of Commercial Banking offices, supported by a centralized and specialized Agriculture Industries Department. Now, the company will provide agriculture lending through regional offices that bring Wells Fargo agriculture expertise closer to customers in markets east of the Rockies. Yraceburu expects to name leaders for the Upper Midwest/Canadian and Southern regions of the National Food & Agribusiness Division this summer.

Wells Fargo’s Eastern Region of the National Food & Agribusiness Division includes the U.S. east of the Mississippi and serves customers in a wide range of sectors, including beef, fresh fruit and vegetables, cotton, poultry and eggs, grains and floriculture. In North Carolina, more than 40 different types of floriculture crops are grown and the state continues to be the leading state in the nursery crop production of evergreen and Christmas trees. Florida is No. 1 in production value of oranges, grapefruits and sugarcane. The establishment of a regional food and agribusiness organization will reach an untapped market for Wells Fargo, which has the depth and breadth to support customers’ capital needs through all economic cycles.