Ken Van Wagenen, an original founder of the Wells Fargo Investment subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank, presided over an impressive growth of client investment assets exceeding $2 billion by the year 2000. For most his years at Wells Fargo, Ken was ranked as the top Advisor at the firm - Three times Ken was recognized by Barron's national business magazine as one of the top 100 advisors in the country. He became known in the Southwest US for his conservative style of investment management.
Ken, also known as Kenny in his youth, was born in Provo, Utah to two great parents, Dean Van Wagenen and Belle De Jong Van Wagenen. Growing up and still today, Kenny has always been very close to his family and especially his siblings, Paul, Julie, and Norman. From an early age, Kenny became well known locally in Provo performing as a guitarist in several rock bands for school dances and activities throughout the area. This interest in guitar resulted in the development of a musical instrument retail sales group within his father’s store, aka Van Wagenen Finance Company. All through his teenage years, Ken and his high school buddies worked at the “store.” To this day it is unclear how profitable the music group was, but it provided certain access to all the most popular musical equipment money could buy. Van Wagenen Finance developed into the first musical instrument dealer in the intermountain area to actually stock Marshall and Hiwatt guitar amplifiers for sale. These amplifiers are built in England and were used exclusively by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, the Who, and most all of the heavy metal English bands of the day. The small Van Wagenen storefront became synonymous with some of the most sought after equipment found anywhere. Equipment that was exclusively offered by other local competitors was stocked anyway by negotiating resale deals with out-of-state dealers. These resale agreements made virtually all equipment available at deep discount pricing to the public. This interest in business generally and retailing specifically built a foundation for Ken's future graduate education after completing college studies.
Ken turned his education focus to an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at University of California Los Angeles in the mid 80s. Ken previously had graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During his time at BYU, and while working at the store, Ken took two years off to live abroad in Europe where he served a church mission in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Shortly after graduating from UCLA, Ken married Felicia Hauptman in Los Angeles and they raised two children, Ryan Van Wagenen and Melissa Van Wagenen.
After many years teaching the Gospel Doctrine class to the adults in his local congregation, Ken currently serves as a member of his local Stake High Council in the Los Angeles area. For the past 15 years, Ken has also been involved with philanthropic foundations and has held charitable fundraisers to benefit many local charitable causes.
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