Hays has been president of the private client group division of Wells Fargo Advisors since 2005.
In his new role, Hays will lead the brokerage services under Wells Fargo Wealth Management, including a force of 3,800 financial advisors plus support staff. He will also oversee the ties between Wells Fargo's wealth business and its bank stores, with the goal of strengthening the financial planning and investment offerings to affluent customers nationally.
"Jim's deep experience in the brokerage business, his well-established relationships within Wells Fargo Advisors and his experience in cross-division partnership place him in a unique position to quickly take advantage of the growth opportunities we have in Wealth Brokerage Services," Jay Welker, president of Wells Fargo Wealth Management, said in a statement.
Before joining Wells Fargo, Hays spent 18 years at Merrill Lynch. His roles at the firm included managing director and head of its Private Banking/Investment Group, where he led its alternative investment strategies, family office group, IBK Relationship Management, Merrill Lynch Trust Company and Private Wealth Advisors.