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RIP Wachovia Securities brand name

Wells Fargo Advisors leaps to number three spot day one

Saturday, September 19, 2009 – 10:19 PM by Brooke Southall
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No vestige of the old brand name here

I opened my weekly issue of the New Yorker with hopes of colorful, literary articles on a Saturday afternoon and I was smacked in the face with something else. Wachovia Securities is now Wells Fargo Advisors — published in a two-page advertisement. A quick web search reveals that this change occurred September 14 so I debated delivering it to you as news. What tipped the balance was knowing that other people might live under the same rock as me and the fact that Google showed no news stories about it. Maybe it’s not newsworthy per se. I find it interesting.

In what may be the least apologetic, least sentimental brand name change in history, Wachovia Securities has been deleted in favor of Wells Fargo Advisors. It’ll remain based in St. Louis under its president and CEO Danny Ludeman

The advertisement in this week’s The New Yorker mentions the word “Wachovia” just once and in the smallest font [besides the disclaimers at the bottom].

Wells Fargo is getting the word out with big ads in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the St. Louis Dispatch. It also has video ads.

Wells Fargo advisors start with 15,600 full-service brokers in 50 states and 5,900 licensed financial specialists with a combined $1 trillion of assets under administration. It is the third-largest full-service broker.

Also assuming the new Wells Fargo brand name is the old Wachovia independent broker-dealer, FiNet, which serves 405 practices with 705 advisors with $32 billion of assets under management. It’s now calls Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. Only 30% of those firms are choosing to use the Wells Fargo name, according to data in a Sept. 18 Wall Street Journal article entitled: “Street Moves:Wells Fargo’s FiNet attractine to some brokers.’

Wells Fargo of San Francisco announced the $15.1 billion all-stock transaction to buy Wachovia of Charlotte, N.C. on Oct. 3, 2008 and closed the deal on Jan. 1. It’s the first brand deletion to result from last year’s financial crisis. Bank of America is keeping the Merrill Lynch brand name for now and Morgan Stanley is keeping Smith Barney as a suffix.

As of Dec. 31, according to Wells Fargo data
As of Dec. 31, according to
Wells Fargo data

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