The Financial Journey is a unique series focused on financial education and opportunities. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between Wells Fargo and Word In Black.
WIB: Can you describe your role at Wells Fargo?
I lead Diverse Segments for Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management (WIM) division. In this role I’m focused on growing business partnerships with people and organizations that are owned and/or managed by diverse individuals, or that are serving diverse individuals or groups.
I also lead WIM’s efforts to expand its diverse client set and the services WIM provides to existing and new clients.
WIB: What would you say is the best part of the work you get to do?
Nunn: The best part of my current role is that it allows me to pursue two of my passions – growing business and driving diversity efforts across the firm. I’m part of WIM’s operating committee where we’re creating the strategy for the business, I help identify partnership opportunities with our colleagues in business and I work closely with the “Building Diverse Pathways” recruiting initiative that aims to attract and retain diverse talent across WIM by creating successful career paths to recruit diverse financial advisors. The variety of the things I do makes each day different, and I really enjoy that.
WIB: What does diversity and Inclusion mean for you?
Nunn: To me, diversity means thoughtfully recruiting and then retaining talented women and minority candidates – and decking really good people against that initiative. Inclusion is building an environment where everyone feels welcome and comfortable bringing their full self and set of experiences to work.
We tend to blend “Diversity and Inclusion” together, and we wind up focusing most on diversity. An intentional focus on inclusion actually gives you a chance to talk about the commonality we all have. The two are complimentary and are both very important in the solution we’re working towards.
WIB: What is one piece of career advice you can give to our readers?
Nunn: Be a continuous learner and get your information from a variety of different sources and voices. Take a class, read a variety of publications, engage with colleagues outside of your age group – actively pursue knowledge. Too often we rely on our previous experience, and it can quickly lead us to become dated and ineffective.
WIB: Having a role in financial services can seem daunting at times, what do you enjoy most outside of work?
Nunn: I enjoy fishing and golfing leisurely with friends. I’m also a car enthusiast. Anything I’m doing with my family or with friends makes me happy outside of work.
WIB: Describe your proudest moment to date.
Nunn: I had a number of opportunities to lead groups at some of the highest levels of the organizations I’ve been a part of. To get there, there were people throughout my career who invested their time in me and showed me my potential. From where I sit now, I really believe that when you’re in a leadership position, the most important thing you can do is develop future leaders. I have several mentees who are doing exciting things in their careers, and I’m pleased to know I may have played a small role. What’s really gratifying is to get calls from them now, as peers, to talk through ideas and help solve issues. It’s great to see leaders hit their potential.
WIB: What would you say is the most important lesson about finances?
Nunn: You can’t start saving soon enough. It’s never too early (or too late!) to think about retirement. In this industry we talk a lot about financial “literacy,” but I like to think of this work as helping people achieve financial “independence.” Accumulate and consume as much information as possible, and don’t be afraid to talk about money. Ultimately you do what you need to do today, so you can be better positioned to do what you want to do tomorrow.
WIB: Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?
Nunn: Earlier in my career I was working for a company where I was progressing and getting promoted every two years, however the roles I most desired always seemed to be one or two jobs away. My pivotal moment involved self-reflection that led me to identify which skills I needed to get me to the next level and setting a gameplan to acquire the missing skills. With the council of trusted advisors, I understood that I needed to step out of my comfort zone and take a few risks without the fear of failing. This allowed me to better leverage my network, execute on advice from my mentors, go back to school for my MBA and have the confidence to pass on roles that didn’t align with my career aspirations. This renewed focus on my career allowed me to be more intentional about career decisions and gave me both the confidence and experience I needed to pursue larger roles.
WIB: What does having an “authentic voice” mean for you?
Nunn: Having an authentic voice means being consistent and having the confidence to be true to yourself with all the flaws and vulnerabilities that comes with it. It’s hiring people who are smarter than you, working with people who are different than you, being open to ideas that are different than your own, understanding that good ideas can come from anywhere in the firm, and understanding that being a great leader is knowing when to lead from the front or cheer from the back!
Clarence Nunn joined Wells Fargo in 2021 as head of Diverse Segments for the Wealth & Investment Management (WIM) division. His responsibilities include setting strategy and growing partnerships for clients and prospects that are owned and/or managed by diverse individuals or that are serving diverse individuals or groups. He also leads WIM’s efforts to expand its diverse client set and the services WIM provides to existing and new clients.
Clarence has more than 30 years of financial and industrial experience. Before joining Wells Fargo, he was the Southeast head of Middle Market Banking and Specialized Industries within JPMorgan Chase’s Commercial Bank. Prior to JPMorgan Chase, he was the president & CEO of GE Capital – Franchise Finance. At GE, Clarence also held senior leadership roles with P&L responsibility, general management, sales, marketing, product development, and quality (Six Sigma) in several domestic and global businesses ─ including GE Plastics, GE Capital Canada Equipment Financing, GE Vendor Financial Services, GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance, GE Capital Fleet Services, and GE Capital Rail Services.
Clarence’s outside affiliations include Board and Council roles with the Business School Strategic Board of Governors for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota; North Carolina Bankers Association; National Black MBA Association, Inc.; and GELCO Corporation. He also was a member of the American Automotive Leasing Association and the Executive Leadership Council.
Clarence earned his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from San Diego State University. He is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Wealth & Investment Management offers financial products and services through bank and brokerage affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. This associate is a registered representative of Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC.