Anne Doss

Anne Doss, Head of Wells Fargo Unit , Dies at 56
By Dakin Campbell Aug 15, 2013 11:03 PM CT

Source: Wells Fargo & Co. via Bloomberg
Wells Fargo & Co.'s head of personal and small-business insurance business Anne Doss is... Read More
Anne Doss, who became head of Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)’s personal and small-business insurance unit in January as part of an expansion push, has died on a work-related trip. She was 56.

She died on Aug. 14 in her hotel room at the Sofitel Minneapolis in Bloomington, Minnesota, Raschael Ellering, an investigator at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, said yesterday in an interview. Her death was from “apparent natural causes,” according to the coroner’s report. The specific cause is pending further investigation.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based executive was in Minnesota on a business trip, Herbert Doss, her husband of 26 years, said, according to an article on the Charlotte Observer’s website. Her death surprised him because she hadn’t been ill, the newspaper reported.

“I spoke to her as she was going to sleep,” he said, according to the article. “She was perfect.”

An executive vice president at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, Doss was responsible for boosting collaboration between the insurance, business and retail-banking groups, according to a December statement announcing her new role.

As she rose in her career, Doss also extended herself as a mentor to women trying to move through the corporate landscape. In April, she was a slated speaker at a Women’s Leadership Academy Summit in Grapevine, Texas. The title of her presentation: “Navigating the Corporate Matrix in High Heels and a Skirt.” The event was sponsored by the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

‘Demonstrating Power’

She appeared in a 2008 Forbes magazine article about the correlation between height and success and the growing presence of stiletto heels in executive suites.

“Doss doesn’t need to add height -- she’s 5’9” without her favorite Prada or Manolo pumps -- but nonetheless values the perceived edge of a sky-high heel,” according to the article.

“For me, it’s about demonstrating power and strength,” she said, according to Forbes.

Before her latest promotion, Doss had led the national practices and special risk group at Wells Fargo, which she joined with its 2008 purchase of Wachovia Corp. Doss was Wachovia’s president of insurance services at the time, according to the statement about her new position. She spent 23 years at the Charlotte-based lender, including 20 years in its banking operations before moving to Wachovia’s insurance division in 2007, according to a Wells Fargo biography.

‘Fierce Love’

“Anne is remembered by the many who loved her for her piercing green eyes, impeccable style -- thank you, Neiman Marcus -- attention to detail, deep wisdom, fierce love of God, and all things Rock & Roll, especially Marvin Gaye, the Beatles, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Marley,” according to a statement e-mailed by Marsha Askins, a family spokeswoman. “She displayed kindness and generosity to everyone, was angered by and fought injustices to others.”

Doss was “extremely healthy” and her death was “completely unexpected,” Katie Ellis, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman, said yesterday in an interview. Ellis, who confirmed that Doss was on a business trip, described her as “an extremely vibrant woman, very passionate.”

Anne Johnson was born on Dec. 19, 1956, in Yakima, Washington. Her father, Stan Johnson, was a minister and her mother, Emily Johnson, a nurse anesthetist. She graduated from Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. As part of Wachovia’s senior executive development program, she attended Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, according to Ellis.

Ordained Minister

She was ordained as an interfaith minister in 2003 by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City and officiated her daughter’s wedding, according to Askins.

Doss was on the board of Women Executives for Community Service and Women’s Inter-cultural Exchange, according to the Wells Fargo biography. She was also board chairman-elect of the North Carolina Dance Theatre, and a director at Carolina Thread Trail, a regional network of hiking and biking paths, according to the biography.

“Anne was more than just a colleague,” Laura Schupbach, head of Wells Fargo’s insurance unit, said in an e-mailed statement. “She was a close and dear friend whom I will miss terribly.”

Doss and her husband lived in Charlotte and in Southport, North Carolina.

In addition to her husband and father, Doss’s survivors include her son, Brenton Purcell, 30; daughter, Kristin Mountcastle, 31; sisters, Jayne Batts and Jan Smith; brothers, Chris Johnson and Jay Johnson, according to Askins.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dakin Campbell in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at; Christine Harper at Charles W. Stevens at

A Wells Fargo executive died unexpectedly while on a business trip aged just 56, it emerged today.
Anne Doss, who headed Wells Fargo’s personal and small-business insurance division, died on Wednesday at a Sofitel hotel in Minnesota from apparent 'natural causes'.
'It is with great sadness that Wells Fargo confirms that Anne Doss, head of our personal and small-business insurance division, has passed away,' the bank said in a statement yesterday.
A spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said her death was being investigated.
Her husband of 26 years, Herbert, said she went there on a business trip and that her death was a shock to him because she was in 'perfect health and very into exercise'.
He told the Charlotte Observer his wife had attended 'numerous very important' roundtable meetings on Tuesday.
They last spoke on Tuesday night.
'I spoke to her as she was going to sleep,' he said. 'She sounded fine, was perfect.'
Family spokeswoman Marsha Askins told Bloomberg: 'Anne is remembered by the many who loved her for her piercing green eyes, impeccable style -- thank you, Neiman Marcus -- attention to detail, deep wisdom, fierce love of God, and all things Rock & Roll, especially Marvin Gaye, the Beatles, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Marley.

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3 well-known metro buildings in default
Article by: JENNIFER BJORHUS , Star Tribune Updated: August 20, 2010 - 11:22 PM
They include One Financial Plaza in Minneapolis and Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington. The owners are trying to restructure their debt.

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The owners of the Hotel Sofitel, the Minnesota Center and One Financial Plaza -- three well-known buildings in the Twin Cities -- are trying to restructure $88 million of outstanding debt after defaulting on loans.

The defaults are among the largest in the Twin Cities involving securitized commercial property debt, and such behind-the-scenes bargaining over past-due loans has become a hallmark of the commercial real estate crisis. Hotels have taken a clobbering, but there's plenty of distress to go around.

Borrowers owing $434 million were 60 days or more past due or in foreclosure on 42 commercial buildings across the Twin Cities as of Aug. 1, from shopping centers to office towers, according to data from commercial real estate researcher Trepp LLC in New York. That total counts only loans that were securitized -- bundled with other commercial property mortgages and sold to investors like bonds, much the same as residential mortgages.

That's a local delinquency rate of 8 percent for loans that were part of a commercial mortgage-backed security -- about double the 3.5 percent rate a year ago. The Twin Cities is roughly in line with national averages now and a year ago.

Because of a lag time in reporting after buildings go back to the lender, Trepp's loan numbers include debt on some buildings that lenders have already resold.

Office towers

The Minnesota Center, a 14-floor chunky glass tower at 7760 France Av. S. in Bloomington, and One Financial Plaza, a 27-story tower at 120 S. 6th St. in downtown Minneapolis, are both owned by a real estate investment trust (REIT) near Dallas called Behringer Harvard REIT I.

The REIT has defaulted on a total of $70.4 million in loans on the two buildings, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month. About $43 million of that debt is an interest-only loan with a balloon payment obtained from Citigroup for One Financial Plaza in 2005, according to Trepp.

Jason Mattox, Behringer Harvard's chief administrative officer, said his company is in discussions with lenders on both properties and hasn't announced plans for either of them.

In its government filing, Behringer Harvard said it's working to either restructure the $70.4 million debt on the two buildings or pay it off at a discount. Foreclosure is possible, it added.

Behringer Harvard paid $64.2 million in 2005 for One Financial Plaza. It suffered a setback when a major tenant, accountants Deloitte & Touche, moved out in 2007, and the tower is about 58 percent leased, said George Janssen a broker with Transwestern, which handles the building's leasing. Key tenants include the Nilan Johnson Lewis law firm and ad agency Clarity Coverdale Fury.

The Minnesota Center is about 62 percent leased, according to the REIT's government filings. Behringer Harvard also owns Lawson Commons in downtown St. Paul, which is 99 percent leased.

Behringer Harvard REIT I is what's known as a private or unlisted REIT, a type that's considered riskier for investors because it's not traded on an exchange. It lost $89.7 million on revenue of $138 million in the quarter ended June 30, and has suffered widening annual losses since 2005.

Hotel Sofitel

The Hotel Sofitel, a luxury hotel built in the early 1970s, is in foreclosure. Its owner defaulted on the $18 million remainder of an interest only loan from Eurohypo, part of Germany's Commerzbank Group, according to Trepp.

Property records show the Sofitel, at 5601 W. 78th St., is owned by 78th Street Ownerco LLC, although the taxpayer appears to be Accor Business & Leisure North America, part of Accor SA in France, one of the world's largest hotel operators. Sofitel is Accor's luxury brand.

In 2006 Accor said it owned six U.S. Sofitel hotels, including the one in Bloomington, as part of a joint venture with Chicago-based GEM Realty Capital and a Goldman Sachs group called Whitehall Street Global Real Estate Limited Partnership.

Accor would only say it's the long-term manager of the Sofitel and has "no comment about the business of the property owner."

Mark Bernhardson, Bloomington's city manager, said he's aware of Sofitel's troubles. The hotel's debt matured at the same time as three other Sofitels across the country, he said.

"I don't know if they're in the same boat," he said.

Bernhardson said he doesn't expect anything dramatic to happen as a result of the restructuring.

"Commercial properties going through foreclosure are a different animal," he said. "It's generally in the lender's best interest to continue that operation."

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683

Edina Galleria developer buys Sofitel hotel (Video)
Sep 30, 2013, 2:11pm CDT UPDATED: Oct 4, 2013, 3:56pm CDT

John Vomhof Jr.
Staff reporter/broadcaster-
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
Email | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+
The Hotel Sofitel Minneapolis in Bloomington has been sold to WB Hotel Partners, an entity majority owned by Galleria mall developer Warren Beck, according to a source with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Sofitel Luxury Hotels confirmed that the property changed hands last Wednesday, but provided few other details.
"While the new owners are considering rebranding the hotel, Sofitel will continue operating as it has been following the closing of the real estate transaction," the company said in a statement. "Sofitel has notified their employees at the hotel and is committed to facilitating a smooth transition with uninterrupted service to their guests."
The brand and management are expected to change over on Nov. 1, a source told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
With 282 rooms, Hotel Sofitel Minneapolis ranks No. 16 among the Business Journal's List of the largest Twin Cities hotels. It is the only Sofitel-branded hotel in Minnesota.
The seller, Addison, Texas-based Accor Business & Leisure North America, bought the hotel for $27.5 million in March 2006. Hennepin County valued the property at $15.7 million for property tax purposes.
Beck's Gabbert & Beck Inc. sold the Galleria last year to Houston-based Hines Global REIT Inc. for $127 million, but he still owns the attached 225-room Westin Edina Galleria under a separate business entity.
Beck and his father-in-law, Don Gabbert, developed the upscale Galleria shopping center around Gabberts Design Studio and Fine Furniture in 1974.
John Vomhof Jr. covers retail, hotels, sports business, advertising, public relations and media. He's also on the air on WCCO-AM 830 with Dave Lee daily at 8:45 a.m. and on Fox 9 TV Fridays at 5:30 a.m. & 6:30 a.m. 

Sofitel Minneapolis
A Luxurious French Hotel in Minneapolis
5601 W 78th St., Bloomington MN 55439

Tel. 1.800.252.9078
Europe: 00 800 1610 1690

A luxurious hotel near the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport, the Sofitel offers first-class accommodations to business and leisure travelers. Located in Bloomington, this high-end Minneapolis hotel is convenient to the Mall of America and many large corporations.

The stylish guestrooms at the Sofitel Minneapolis feature contemporary furnishings and amenities. These Minneapolis hotel rooms and suites boast plasma televisions, luxury bedding, walk-in rain showers, WiFi access, voicemail, safe deposit boxes, premium cable channels and pay-per-view movies. There are also extra large working areas in each room for the convenience of business travelers.

The Sofitel Hotel in Minneapolis is well known for its outstanding restaurants, Chez Colette and La Fougasse. Chez Colette, styled after a turn-of-the-century French brasserie, offers a menu filled with dishes displaying an innovative approach to refined French cuisine in Minneapolis; La Fougasse satisfies with the robust flavors of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The hotel is also home to Le Bar, a warm and attractive lounge suited for relaxing with a few cocktails and light fare.

A leading Minneapolis meeting venue, this luxury hotel offers over 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space fit for social gatherings, meetings and even beautiful Minneapolis weddings. Smaller rooms are available for board meetings or more intimate gatherings, while largest room can accommodate up to 500 attendees. Available amenities for meetings at this Minneapolis hotel are wired Internet access, WiFi access, the services of an in-house audiovisual team and full use of the hotel’s business center.


WiFi wireless Internet access
Business center with support staff
Copy/print service available
Fax machine, Free fax to local numbers
Dry cleaning / Ironing
Overnight shoe shine
Pets allowed
Babysitting on request
Gift shop/newspaper shop
Fitness center
Chez Colette French Restaurant
Le Bar Cocktail Lounge