Felix Salmon

The Vulcan bank meld

By Felix Salmon
October 14, 2009

Kevin Connor has found something rather interesting with respect to the Wells Fargo-Wachovia merger: Donald Rice, who was Wells Fargo’s chairman until 2007, sits on the board of a company called Vulcan Materials. Also on the Vulcan board are Donald James and John Baker, who sat on the Wachovia board.

When Wachovia was incorporated into Wells Fargo, a dozen of its directors found themselves with no seat on the new board. But Donald James and John Baker — the men who had sat with Rice on the board of Vulcan — were whisked over painlessly to the Wells Fargo board.

Connor concludes:

The data can be interpreted a few different ways, but it strongly suggests that the Vulcan Three were at the center of this deal — that Rice, James, and Baker played key behind-the-scenes roles in the Wells-Wachovia merger.

There’s no smoking gun here, of course. But it’s certainly an intriguing hypothesis.

5 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

The smoking gun is Ed Herlihy of Wachtell, Lipton. Yeah, the same Herlihy who got Ken Lewis into the ring to buy Merrill Lynch. He represented Wells Fargo in the Wachovia deal and he also represented Vulcan Materials for years.

When will you journos learn to follow the lawyers. The directors and CEOs are just props and puppets for the deal machine.

Posted by Grrrr... | Report as abusive

Well done, Grrrr. Take it further. The guns hot, but not smoking.


Wachtell: “The firm is also known for its skill in business litigation. It has handled many of the precedent-setting Delaware corporate governance cases. One of their most recent clients was Larry Silverstein, owner of the two 110-story towers of the World Trade Center.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wachtell,_L ipton,_Rosen_&_Katz


This might be productive as well. Also on the Vulcan Board:

Ann McLaughlin Korologos, who sits at the pinnacle of the real-estate industrial complex.

http://www.vulcanmaterials.com/about.asp  ?content=board

They were nice enough to tell us about her relationship with Rand Corp, but didn’t think her role at Fannie Mae was pertinent? Or her past role with the Aspen Institute. (How closely involved is David G. Bradley with the Aspen Institute? Do they still have a gushing appreciation of Goethe?)

According to wikiwiki-ped-I-ay, her husband, former ambassador to Belgium and currently a lobbyist, is (was?) tight with Bush Lite.


Is the link correct?


Many apologies, Sajal. Fixed now.

Posted by Felix Salmon | Report as abusive

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