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Global borrowers - Best financial sector borrower

Wells Fargo

One of the most striking aspects of Wells Fargo's headquarters in San Francisco is that there really isn't one. The building on Montgomery Street is nominally the main HQ but in fact the bank operates out of several different locations in the city's financial district. Not for this bank the monument to itself that many of its peers and competitors choose to erect.

That's not the only fact that is surprising about Wells Fargo. Another is that America's fifth-largest bank as measured by shareholder equity is one of the few that has managed to merge or buy rivals without too many headaches. On top of that it has never tried to become, or wanted to own, an investment bank.

And then there is Nino Fanlo. He's 42, joined the bank from Wall Street in 1995, and without any formal experience was promoted to the treasurer's post in 2000. He has since become perhaps the most successful treasurer of any US bank. It's a close-run thing: Al di Molina, Bank of America's treasurer, is widely respected and admired by bankers and investors alike. Their two banks are similarly rated, and both appear to have excellent risk-management systems and processes.

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