Oct 10, 2010

Hard workin' man

Garry has been working crazy-long hours the last six months or so. I complain a lot, but he never does. He is so good to go to work every day with such a terrific attitude, knowing that things will be busy and stressful and deadline-motivated. We pray daily for the blessing of employment, and especially employment that is challenging, fulfilling, and provides well for our family.

When people ask what Garry does at Wells Fargo, I'm not always sure what to tell them. "Databases and reporting" is about as technical as I get. Oh, and he's not a teller at a bank branch. That usually satisfies the inquiries. Garry works at a bank. Enough said, right? But last week as we were talking over dinner (a rare opportunity these days), I realized that Garry's job has much more dimension, scope, and impact than I realized.

Garry works on the Risk Management team in the Home Equity group. His team of five spans four states. Garry and his boss, Christine, are in Colorado, George is in California, Dmitry is in Iowa, and Anju is in North Carolina. Garry spends a lot of time on conference calls!

The Risk team's primary function is to validate any financial reports that the Home Equity Business Intelligence Group (BIG) produces. Before internal reports are released and approved for use, Risk reviews them for accuracy. One of Garry's main job responsibilities used to be this review process, but he is now handing the task off to a more junior team member. Because he is the longest-standing member of his team and is most familiar with the data environment, Garry handles brand-new reporting projects and reporting for investors.

In addition, Garry's team spends a lot of time creating and validating monthly reports that represent the company-wide Home Equity group's balances and losses. Managers use these reports internally for progress checks on Wells Fargo portfolios. At the end of each fiscal quarter, Garry's boss, Christine, also presents a report to Wells Fargo's investor group, senior Home Equity managers, and other Wells Fargo officials. The investor group uses the numbers in this report to create Wells Fargo's official earnings release for Wall Street.

Wells Fargo merged with Wachovia last year, which has complicated the process of reporting. Wachovia had different systems and databases than Wells Fargo, and migrating Wachovia systems to Wells Fargo systems has been a challenging process. One-third of the Wachovia portfolio switched to Wells Fargo systems in June. Similar transitions are planned for March and May 2011. Until that happens, one of Garry's teammates prepares a monthly report with Wachovia numbers, another prepares Wells Fargo numbers, and Garry compiles all numbers for the final report.

The month prior to quarter end is a dry run. Garry and his team build the same report they do at quarter end, but the figures aren't final. Managers can see trends and the bank's general position in the market. The same process happens during the month following quarter end. Christine just gives an internal presentation. This helps keep the rhythm of activity stable and consistent.

October marks the end of the fiscal quarter for Wells Fargo, so all systems and team members have kicked into high gear. The quarter-end presentation to investors happens this Friday, and as of last Friday, the Risk team didn't have the data it needed to start producing and analyzing reports. Garry has warned me that we won't see much of him this week. He will be working around the clock to meet the Friday deadline.

I'm proud of my honey for working so hard for our family, but I will miss him this week!
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