Seeing opportunity from the inevitable flood of aging baby boomers, Wells Fargo has announced formation of a new specialty business group focused on their housing and health.  A new Senior Housing Finance group has been established within the bank's Commercial Real Estate Group to "provide a dedicated, comprehensive suite of traditional banking and credit services for senior housing developers, investors, and operators."

Well Fargo estimates that the U.S. population of those over the age of 65 will grow by 67 percent over the next 25 years, from 48 million today to approximately 80 million in 2040.  Over 21 percent of seniors over the age of 75 reside in senior housing or care facilities today and the bank said that percentage will continue to grow. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that nearly 70 percent of people who reach age 65 will ultimately need some form of long-term care.

"An estimated 20,000 senior housing units per year will be needed over the next 25 years to meet peak demand," said Mark Cotsakis, who has been named the head of the new division.  "Wells Fargo has been providing financing to the senior housing industry for quite some time, but in order to best serve the existing and emerging senior housing client base, we saw the opportunity to create a specialty focus on the sector. The formation of our new Senior Housing Finance division, in partnership with existing Wells Fargo businesses, is a natural fit to position Wells Fargo as a leader in providing financial solutions in this rapidly growing market."

The Senior Housing Finance Group has already closed financing on four housing facilities combining independent and assisted living and memory care.  Financing for the projects, located in Oregon, Florida, and California, totals over $141 million. 

The new division expands on an existing presence in the senior sector.  The company has a multifamily division that provides financing packages to age-restricted and supportive housing and a division that provides capital, traditional and investment banking services to for-profit, multiregional healthcare companies.

Wells Fargo's various business units, detailed below, support this growth and the financial needs of the entire senior housing sector.