Black Leaders in Banking: Q & A with Wells Fargo’s Ahtis Davis

Ahtis Davis

By Word In Black
Special to The Truth

Ahtis Davis, leader of business development fordiverse customers in the Consumer and Small Business Bank at Wells Fargo, says “the most important lesson about finances is understanding that it is a tool.”

The Financial Journey is a unique series focused on financial education and opportunities. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between Wells Fargo and Word In Black.

WIBCan you describe your role at Wells Fargo?

Davis: I develop and execute strategies that help diverse customers acquire and build wealth. While my focus is consumer banking, I work across the entire organization to serve the full spectrum of diverse customers’ financial needs.

WIBWhat would you say is the best part of the work you get to do?

Davis: The work we do is about promoting financial inclusion and growth for diverse communities that have been historically overlooked and under-served. Having a platform that allows me to build and execute strategies that serve those communities – and the people in them – is incredibly rewarding. It’s the best part of my work and I look forward to getting to do it every day.

WIBWhat does diversity and Inclusion mean for you?

Davis: Diversity and inclusion means that everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity to fully participate in society. Regardless of the framework – political, financial, educational, etc. – everyone should have the opportunity to design and build the life that they want for themselves and their families.

WIBWhat is one piece of career advice you can give to our readers?

Davis: Say YES! Often women and people of color are more risk averse and because of that, they may miss out on opportunities that they are qualified for and would excel in. So, say yes to the opportunity and to yourself! Once you start, everything can be figured out.

WIB: Having a role in banking can seem daunting at times, what do you enjoy most outside of work?

Davis: I love to travel, especially with my children. They often take me outside of my comfort zone and keep me in touch with my playful side.

WIBDescribe your proudest moment to date.

Davis: My proudest moment has been raising two amazing humans that call me mom. Raising children as a full-time executive has its challenges but navigating them has made me a better mother and a more effective leader.

WIBWhat would you say is the most important lesson about finances?

Davis: The most important lesson about finances is understanding that it is a tool. Once you shift your mindset to understand how to leverage it as a tool, you can focus on how to earn, invest, and grow it to achieve your financial goals.

WIB: Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?

Davis: A pivotal moment in my career happened almost 10 years ago when I moved my family to London for four years. Not only did it help me pivot from a career in Corporate Investment Banking to Diverse Customer Strategies, but it also provided an amazing opportunity for my family to travel extensively and embrace global citizenship.

WIB: What does having an “authentic voice” mean for you?

Davis: It might sound cliché, but having an authentic voice means representing what you believe to be true which frees you to express your full creativity.

Ahtis Davis joined Wells Fargo & Co in 2021 to lead business development for diverse customers in the Consumer and Small Business Bank. She leverages her global leadership experience to develop, lead and activate the bank’s strategy to drive customer growth and brand reputation. 

Prior to joining Wells Fargo & Co, Ahtis has enjoyed a 20+ year career in financial services at JPMorgan Chase in the Corporate Investment Bank in New York and London and most notably, established Advancing Black Pathways as the Program Manager, leading their strategy to help more Black Americans achieve economic success.

Ahtis is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a double minor in Business and Spanish.