Wells Fargo (WFC) announced that veteran commercial banker Grant Friesth will head the Central Division for Middle Market Banking, effective immediately. Friesth, who previously led Middle Market Banking in Iowa, now also manages Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota operations.
As senior vice president and division leader, Friesth brings nearly 30 years of banking experience to the role, leading more than 30 team members in four states who primarily serve privately held, family-owned businesses with annual revenues of greater than $20 million. Companies of this size – referred to as “middle market” by the company – are a driving force in the Central U.S. and the nation’s economy, reporting an average revenue growth of 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and a strong year of overall growth, according to the National Center for the Middle Market.
“Grant will build on the hundreds of existing strong relationships within the division’s vibrant middle market by adding new customers, especially putting Wells Fargo’s food and agribusiness expertise to work,” said MaryLou Barreiro, Mountain Midwest Region head for Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking. “Grant has made a habit of leading dynamic teams that exceed customer expectations. He has a knack for developing innovative strategies for winning new customers and helping existing customers reach their financial goals.”
Based in Des Moines, Friesth started his career in 1989 with Norwest Bank in Minneapolis. Most recently as regional vice president for Middle Market Banking in Iowa, Friesth led statewide teams to double-digit loan commitment, new customer, and profitability growth. Previously, he served as a business development officer for Wells Fargo Business Credit, Middle Market Banking relationship manager, loan team lead, and Commercial Banking team lead.
Grant earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa and his MBA from the University of Arizona. A native of Iowa, Friesth serves on the Iowa Events Center Hotel and Greater Des Moines Partnership Regional Economic Development boards. He also previously served on the YMCA’s Riverfront board, the West Des Moines Soccer Board, and with the Central Presbyterian Deacons.