Based in Hong Kong, Gallagher will lead the company's operations in Asia. "Wells Fargo has outstanding US-oriented products and services which can be leveraged to serve Asia businesses, institutions and individuals," he says.

Gallagher says Wells Fargo's Asia focus is two-fold. The first is to grow its institutional and private wealth management business. Gallagher's predecessor, Ignatius Choong, who is now the managing director of Asia investment management, heads this effort up.

The second area is factoring and this is Gallagher's responsibility. Wells Fargo is looking to work with its affiliate, Century Business Facility, to bring its services to Asian companies. Gallagher says he will be working with Century to identify Asian exporters that export goods to US retailers.

"I look forward to extending the capabilities of this new Wells Fargo service to help satisfy the financial services needs of our small and medium-sized customers and help companies in Hong Kong and the Asia region expand their business operations in the US market," he comments.

In addition to these two areas, Wells Fargo will continue in its traditional business line of trade finance.

Currently with offices in Hong Kong and Taiwan, there are no plans at the moment to open new offices in other countries in the region, but Gallagher says he would consider it if the right opportunity arose.

Gallagher arrived in Hong Kong in January, relocating from San Francisco, where he was responsible for developing business, negotiating and implementing outsource programs with major US and Canadian SMEs through which Wells Fargo underwrites. This is Gallagher's first assignment in Asia. He will report directly to David Zuercher, executive vice president of Wells Fargo's International Financial Services.