Wells Fargo bankers get soft skills training

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Wells Fargo aims to make a splash in investment banking, building on the remnants of a unit leftover from the Wachovia purchase.

In some ways, they are building from the ground up. One indication of that is the recent move to hire corporate trainers to help with the "soft skills" bankers need to make it rain.

Bloomberg reports, "Wells Fargo began a pilot program last year with Kingstree Group, a London consultant that trains senior bankers in skills they need to secure more advisory and underwriting business… Kingstree's website says the firm conducts one-on-one sessions, group workshops and provides online learning to give bankers more confidence and better presentation skills."

This is one of those training opportunities that might generate some internal skepticism. Some might see it as the equivalent of anger management training that might be forced on temperamental employees.

One expert tells the news service: "To bring in a consultant to teach you how to be a better banker strikes me as something you want to keep as a deep-dark secret. I think a consultant can be very useful but it ought to be kept very quiet and it ought to be very focused."

That said, investment bankers need every edge. They need to understand the role that body language and non-verbal communications play. In the end, impressions count for a lot. One problem, for example, is the death-vise handshake a lot of younger people go with.

In their mind, they want to make a "firm" hand shake, to make a good impression, but they tend to go overboard. A little practice may help.  

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