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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

John Silvia, Ph.D., Managing Director, Chief Economist

John Silvia John Silvia is a managing director and the chief economist for Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he has held his position since he joined Wachovia, a Wells Fargo predecessor, in 2002 as the company’s chief economist.

Before his current position, John worked on Capitol Hill as senior economist for the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and chief economist for the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Before that, he was chief economist of Kemper Funds and managing director of Scudder Kemper Investments, Inc.

John served as the president of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) in 2015 and was awarded a NABE Fellow Certificate of Recognition in 2011 for outstanding contributions to the business economics profession and leadership among business economists to the nation. For the second time in three years, he was awarded the best overall forecast by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, as well as the best unemployment rate forecast for 2011. John is on the Bloomberg Best Forecast list for his forecasts of GDP, the ISM manufacturing index, housing starts, and the unemployment rate.

John holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Northeastern University in Boston and has a master’s degree in economics from Brown University. John’s first book, Dynamic Economic Decision Making, was published by Wiley in August, 2011. His second book, Economic and Business Forecasting, was published in 2014, also by Wiley. His third book, Economic Modeling in the Post Great Recession Era, was published in 2017 by Wiley.

John is a Certified Business Economist (CBE). He serves as a member of the Blue Chip Panel of Economic Forecasters and also serves on an informal advisory group for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He served as chair for the Economic Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Economic Advisory Roundtable. John also serves on the finance committee for the Mint Museum in Charlotte and is a regular lecturer to the Cornell Food Executive Program. John is past president of the Charlotte Economics Club. He has also served on economic advisory committees to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the Public Securities Association.

A strong supporter of education and civic affairs, John serves as a member of the Business Advisory Council at the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and on the President’s Council for Charlotte’s Central Piedmont Community College. He has previously served as a board member of the British American Business Council of North Carolina, and on the Economic Development Board for the state of North Carolina, a special appointment by the governor. He has also served on the Business Advisory Committee for the city of Charlotte.

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.

Eugenio J. Alemán, Ph.D., Director, Senior Economist

Eugenio J. Alemán Eugenio Alemán is a director and senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. He forecasts national and international economic trends. His primary focus is the United States economy and the global economy. Within the U.S. economy he covers the U.S. consumer and interest rates. Eugenio is also an expert on Latin American economics with special interest in the economies of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. He is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Eugenio joined Wells Fargo in his current position in 2005. Before coming to Wells Fargo, Eugenio was the general manager of a restaurant in Puerto Rico from 1985 to 1990. From 1995 to 1996, he was a professor of economics and director of the M.B.A. program at the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico, and from 1996 to 1998, he worked for the petroleum industry in Argentina. He was an adjunct professor of economics at Drexel University in Philadelphia from 1999 to 2016, teaching both, on campus and online economics courses. He has also taught courses at Queens University of Charlotte and at CPCC in Charlotte. From 1998 to 2005 he worked at Global Insight (now IHSMarkit), one of the most important economic forecasting and consulting firms in the U.S., as managing director for its Latin America Service.

Eugenio earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Universidad Del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina; an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing from the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico; and an M.A. and doctorate in economics with an emphasis in economic development and international trade and finance from Florida International University.

Eugenio’s commentary has appeared in many national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, and USA Today, as well as many national and international media outlets including the Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg News. He has also made appearances on CNBC and in several U.S. Hispanic media outlets.

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 the macro U.S. economy and major foreign economies. Domestically, he covers industrial production, manufacturing, and business investment spending. His international efforts concentrate on Japan, Canada, Korea, and Australia. 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 CNBC and National Public Radio.

Tim joined the company in 2002. He 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 has a B.A. from Siena College in Albany, New York. He is a member of both the National Association for Business Economics and the Canadian Association for Business Economics.

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 manufacturing sector. She regularly produces topical commentary, writes indicator reports, and contributes to the company’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary. Sarah frequently speaks about the economy to the national media, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and National Public Radio. Before 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.

Michael A. Brown, Vice President, Economist

Michael A. BrownMichael Brown is a vice president and economist for Wells Fargo Securities based in Charlotte N.C. His coverage areas include the domestic economy, federal fiscal policy issues, the consumer sector and interest rates. He also writes for the company’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary, and is one of the primary authors of the group’s Interest Rate Weekly publication. Michael is also responsible for coordinating the economic group’s U.S. macroeconomic forecast. Michael’s research interests include the links between education and employment, the interaction of economics and interest rates and economic forecasting.

Prior to joining the economics group in 2010, Michael served as an economist and legislative analyst for the Arkansas General Assembly providing economic and policy research to the members of the General Assembly.

Michael’s commentary has been featured on several radio programs including CBS Radio and National Public Radio. His work has also been cited in several publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Bloomberg News.

Michael earned his B.S. in business economics and his master’s degree in economics from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He has also completed additional graduate coursework in economics at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in Atlanta.

He is a member of the National Association of Business Economics (NABE), the American Economic Association, and the Charlotte Economics Club. In addition he serves as a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors.

Reflecting his strong support for education, Michael also serves as a member of the Business Alumni Advisory Council for the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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.

Jamie Feik, Economist

Jamie Feik is an economist with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, she is responsible for covering U.S. macroeconomic and regional trends. Jamie writes regular updates on regional economies and contributes to the group's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary.

Before joining Wells Fargo in 2015, Jamie worked as a regional research associate for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Jamie graduated from Purdue University in 2012, earning a B.A. in management and economics.

Erik Nelson, Currency Strategist

Erik Nelson Erik Nelson is an associate in the Currency Strategy group within Wells Fargo Securities. Based in New York, Erik offers foreign exchange markets analysis to help customers manage the risks and opportunities of operating and investing in these markets. In addition, Erik provides daily and monthly commentary on foreign exchange markets through several Wells Fargo publications, and his commentary is often quoted in financial periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. While Erik offers a broad range of currency analysis, he has a particular focus on the British pound, Australian dollar, and Latin American currencies. 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 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a B.S. in mathematical economics.

Michael Pugliese, Economist

Michael Pugliese Michael Pugliese is an economist with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in New York City, Michael provides analysis on the U.S. macroeconomy, federal fiscal policy, and major foreign economies. He regularly produces special commentary, co-authors the Capitol Hill Update, and contributes to the Weekly & Economic Financial Commentary and Interest Rate Weekly. 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.

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

E. Harry Pershing, Economic Analyst

Harry is an economic analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Harry covers global macroeconomic trends and financial markets. He also helps coordinate the economics group’s U.S. and international macroeconomic forecast. Harry contributes to the group’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary, Global Chartbook, and various special reports. He joined the group in 2016.

Harry graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in history.

Hank Carmichael, Economic Analyst

Hank CarmichaelHank Carmichael is an economic analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Hank is responsible for covering U.S. macroeconomic, housing, and regional trends. He joined the Economics group in December 2016. Hank contributes to the group’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary, housing chartbook, regional reports, and various special reports. 

Hank graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, earning a B.A. in economics with minors in business administration and politics, philosophy and economics.

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 global macroeconomic trends and financial markets. She contributes to the group’s Weekly Economic Financial commentary and various special reports. 

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

Ariana Vaisey, Economic Analyst

Ariana Vaisey is an economic analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ariana is responsible for covering commercial real estate and U.S. macroeconomic trends, including the labor market and inflation. Ariana contributes to the group’s Weekly Economic Financial commentary and various special reports. She joined the group in 2017.

Ariana graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in economics with highest honors and a minor in geography.