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About Wells Fargo Economics

The Wells Fargo Economics Group provides commentary and analysis on international, national, and regional economic trends to help serve our clients’ business and financial needs. Our experienced economists have been featured in many national publications, academic and economic journals, and on popular television and radio programs. As one of the most-respected economic analysis organizations in the industry, Bloomberg News has named it a top economics team for the past four years.

Meet our economists

Mark Vitner, Managing Director, Senior Economist

Mark Vitner Mark Vitner is a managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, responsible for tracking U.S. and regional economic trends. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he also writes for the company’s Monthly Economic Outlook report and the Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary, and he provides regular updates on the housing markets, commercial real estate, regional economies, consumer spending, and issues impacting small business.

Mark joined a Wells Fargo predecessor institution in 1993. Before that, he spent nine years as an economist for Barnett Banks in Jacksonville, Florida. Mark’s commentary has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and many other publications.

Originally from Atlanta, Mark earned a B.B.A. in economics from the University of Georgia and an M.B.A. from the University of North Florida. He has completed further graduate work in economics at the University of Florida. He also completed the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) Advanced Training in Economics program at Carnegie Mellon University.

Mark is a member of NABE and is also a member of that group’s inaugural Certified Business Economist class. Mark is a past president and co-founder of the NABE Charlotte chapter, The Charlotte Economics Club. He serves as a distinguished lecturer and practitioner at the University of Georgia. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, and the Western Economic Association. He also chaired the Economic Advisory Council for the California Chamber of Commerce for three years. He currently serves as the chief economist for the North Carolina chapter of the CCIM Institute, which confers the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation. He is a member of the Blue Chip economic forecasting panel and the Western Blue Chip forecasts panel, and he serves on the Joint Advisory Board of Economists for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Jay Bryson, Ph.D., Managing Director, Global Economist

Jay BrysonJay Bryson is a managing director and global economist at Wells Fargo Securities, where he provides analysis on macroeconomic developments in the major economies of the world. He is based in Charlotte, N.C.

Before joining the company in 1998, Jay was an economist in the Division of International Finance at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. From 1989 to 1992 he was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Alabama. Jay has also lectured on international economics and macroeconomics at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and at Georgetown University.

Jay has published in academic and popular economic journals, and his comments on the economy regularly appear in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today. He also makes frequent appearances on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Jay is a member of the American Economic Association and the Charlotte Economics Club. He is also a member of the National Association for Business Economics and served on its board of directors from 2010 to 2013.

Jay received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sam Bullard, Senior Economist, Managing Director

Sam Bullard Sam Bullard is a managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, providing analysis on the macro U.S. economy, regional economies, major foreign economies, and financial markets. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sam provides detailed analysis on the U.S. gross domestic product, labor market, inflation, and productivity trends. Sam joined the company in 1995 and held a research position in the credit management group before joining the economics group in 1998.

Sam has a B.B.A. in finance from the University of Georgia and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. He holds the certified business economist designation. He is a member of the American Economic Association, National Association for Business Economics, and Charlotte Economics Club.

Sam’s work has been published in academic economic journals, and his comments on the economy regularly appear in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, and in articles distributed by Market News International, Associated Press, and Reuters.

Nick Bennenbroek, Managing Director, Head of Currency Strategy

Nick Bennenbroek Nick Bennenbroek is a managing director and head of Currency Strategy for Wells Fargo Securities, LLC. Nick offers foreign exchange markets analysis to help customers manage the risks and opportunities of operating and investing in these markets. In addition, Nick provides daily and monthly commentary on foreign exchange markets through several Wells Fargo publications. He appears frequently on business television and in media such as Bloomberg and CNBC, and his research is often quoted in financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal.

Prior to his current position, Nick was a senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York. He began his career as an analyst with the New Zealand Treasury in 1994. He then spent six years as an international economist for Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank in London, New York, and Auckland, New Zealand.

A native of New Zealand, Nick holds a bachelor’s degree in management studies, where he received first-class honors, and a master’s degree with distinction with a concentration in economics from the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Azhar Iqbal, Director, Econometrician

Azhar Iqbal Azhar Iqbal is a director and econometrician at Wells Fargo Securities, responsible for providing quantitative analysis to the Economics group and modeling and forecasting of macro and financial variables. He is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Before joining Wells Fargo in 2007, he was an economist and course instructor at the Applied Economics Research Center at the University of Karachi in Pakistan, teaching econometrics, microeconomics, and urban economics. He has also worked as an economist at the United Nations, at Arif-Habib Investment Bank, and for projects funded by the government of Pakistan.

Azhar received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Punjab and has three master’s degrees. He earned his master’s degree in economic forecasting from the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he also earned a Certificate of Graduate Study in economic forecasting. He also has master’s degrees in applied science and applied economics from University of Karachi, and in econometrics and mathematics from the University of the Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan.

Azhar won the 2012, 2014, and 2016 NABE Contributed Paper Award as well as the 2010 and 2016 Edmund A. Mennis Contributed Paper Award for best papers from the National Association of Business Economics (NABE). A strong supporter of education, Azhar teaches a graduate course, Advanced Business and Economic Forecasting, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Azhar’s co-authored book, Economic and Business Forecasting: Analyzing and Interpreting Econometric Results, was published by Wiley in March 2014. His second book, Economic Modeling in the Post Great Recession Era, was published by Wiley in March 2016.

His interests focus on forecasting, time series, panel data, and macroeconomics. Azhar has presented research papers at the American Economic Association, Econometric Society meetings, the Panel Data Conference, and other international conferences. He has published over two dozen papers in the Canadian Journal of Economics, Global Economy Journal, Business Economics, Journal of Business Forecasting, and others listed in the Journal of Economic Literature.

Tim Quinlan, Director, Senior Economist

Tim Quinlan Tim Quinlan is a director and senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he provides analysis on U.S. economy and major foreign economies.

Tim’s work has been published in academic economic journals and his comments on the economy regularly appear in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today. He is also a frequent guest on Bloomberg TV, CNBC and National Public Radio.

Tim first joined the company in 2002 and previously held positions as a trust account portfolio manager and investment strategist before joining the economics group in 2007. Prior to joining the company he worked for Putnam Investments in Boston.

Tim is a member of the National Association for Business Economics and the Canadian Association for Business Economics. Tim has a B.A. from Siena College in Albany, New York.

Eric Viloria, Director, Senior Currency Strategist

Eric ViloriaEric Viloria is a director and senior currency strategist for Wells Fargo Securities, LLC. Eric offers foreign exchange market analysis to help customers manage the risks and opportunities of operating and investing in these markets. In addition, Eric contributes to daily and monthly commentary on foreign exchange markets through several Wells Fargo publications. Prior to his current position, he was a senior currency strategist at Gain Capital in New York.

Eric is a CFA charterholder and CMT charterholder. He is also a member of the CFA Institute, the New York Society of Securities Analysts, and the Market Technicians Association.  Eric obtained an M.B.A. from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University with a concentration in quantitative finance. He also holds a B.A. in economics from Rutgers University. He has been quoted in financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal and appears frequently in financial media broadcasts such as Bloomberg and CNBC.

Sarah House, Director, Senior Economist

Sarah Watt House Sarah House is a director and senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, she covers the U.S. macro economy, including the labor market, inflation trends, and business investment. Sarah frequently speaks about the economy to the national media, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and National Public Radio. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2010, Sarah worked as a research associate for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Sarah earned a B.A. in economics from Tulane University in New Orleans and M.Sc. in local economic development from the London School of Economics. She has co-authored two books, Economic and Business Forecasting (2014) and Economic Modeling in the Post Great Recession Era (2017), both published by Wiley.

Sarah currently serves on the board of the Charlotte Economics Club. She is a member of the National Association of Business Economics and has previously served as chair for the association’s healthcare industry committee.

Charles Dougherty, Vice President, Economist

Charlie Dougherty is a vice president and economist with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he covers the commercial real estate, housing, and construction sectors of the U.S. regional and macro economy. He regularly writes indicator reports, produces special commentary, and contributes to the company's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary. His commentary on the regional and U.S. economy has been featured in various regional and national media publications, including Bloomberg News and The Washington Post.

Before joining Wells Fargo in 2017, Charlie worked as a regional economist and consultant for IHS Markit and more recently for CertainTeed, one of the largest building product manufacturers in North America.

Charlie holds a B.A. and B.S. in economics and finance from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. in economics from Temple University in Philadelphia.

He is a member of the National Association of Business Economics, Philadelphia Council of Business Economics, and Charlotte Economics Club.

Erik Nelson, Currency Strategist

Erik Nelson Erik Nelson is an associate in the Currency Strategy group within Wells Fargo Securities. Based in New York, he helps clients manage the risks and opportunities of operating and investing in the global financial markets. In addition, Erik provides daily and monthly commentary on foreign exchange through several Wells Fargo publications, and his commentary is often quoted in financial periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Before joining the Currency Strategy team, Erik worked as an analyst for the Wells Fargo Economics group in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Erik graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.S. in mathematical economics, and is currently pursuing a M.A. in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Michael Pugliese, Economist

Michael Pugliese Michael Pugliese is an economist with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in New York City, Michael covers the U.S. economy, with a primary focus on fiscal policy. Michael plays a lead role in producing the economics team’s U.S. and international interest rate forecasts. Michael also contributes to macro commentary on some major foreign economies. His work has been published in academic journals and cited by major media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Bloomberg News. Michael’s contributions have been recognized in two books: The New York Times best seller The Kennedy Half-Century and Economic Modeling in the Post Great Recession Era.

Previously, Michael worked as a research analyst under Dr. Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and was a presidential fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

Michael graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in economics and a second major in American government. He is currently pursuing his M.A. in economics at New York University.

Abigail Kinnaman, Economic Analyst

Abigail Kinnaman is an economic analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Abigail covers global macroeconomic trends, financial markets, and fiscal policy. She also helps coordinate the economics group’s U.S. and international macroeconomic forecast. She contributes to the group’s Weekly Economic Financial commentary, Global Chartbook, and various special reports.

Abigail joined the economics group in 2017 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in public policy. 

Shannon Seery, Economic Analyst

Shannon Seery is an economic analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Shannon covers the U.S. macro economy, including the labor market, business investment and personal consumption. She contributes to the group’s Weekly Economic Financial commentary and various special reports.

Shannon joined the group in 2017 after graduating summa cum laude from St. John’s University in New York with a B.S. in economics.