Nick Kepler joined Wells Fargo Bank nine days after graduating from the UNL College of Business in 2004 with a degree in international business. Today Kepler is vice-president in Wells Fargo’s Corporate Banking Group in Chicago, serving clients throughout the Midwest who generate annual revenues in excess of $500 million.
Kepler said he knew two things when growing up in Avoca, Neb., population 254. He wanted to be a Husker and he wanted to sell financial services. Attending CBA provided him with the opportunity to be both.
“There never was a doubt that I would attend UNL. My uncle is a successful financial advisor and I idolized him growing up. The way he talked about working with clients and the friendships that developed, I just knew that kind of career was for me,” he said.
He developed a connection to Wells Fargo alumni who spoke in his classes and were members of the UNL Alumni Board. He doesn’t deny that the stagecoach rolling across the plains in the commercials also added some appeal.
“When Carrie Tolstedt (head of community/retail banking at Wells Fargo) spoke about her small Nebraska town, her time at CBA and her career path, it reinforced that I could do that too,” he said.
Kepler said his client base ranges in size from annual revenues of $950 million to over $60 billion. His clients are also in a variety of businesses from making greeting cards and manufacturing paint to operating amusement parks.
“Each of these clients have different needs and it is fun to learn about the various sectors. I am the primary contact and am responsible for the client relationship, including the credit we provide them,” he said.
When not working, Kepler spends much of his time volunteering and supporting education, particularly at Holy Trinity High School in Chicago.
“Holy Trinity is an inner-city private school that takes students from challenging backgrounds and gets them to focus on the importance of education. The school boasts a 100 percent college acceptance rate over the last several years,” Kepler said.
Kepler enjoys telling the students – and anyone else who will listen – that he is from Nebraska.
“That should never be underestimated when looking at Nebraska as a first class school,” he said.
He also said the competitive edge CBA has will only increase with the addition of the new $84 million building approved this month by the UNL Board of Regents.
“This is an absolute must-have to take our students, programs and college to the next level,” Kepler said. “This is undoubtedly the most exciting time in my 10 years of being involved with CBA and I am quite envious of the students who will get to benefit from all of the changes happening at the college.”