The century-old PaineWebber name is going to be dropped from UBS AG’s brokerage and investment-banking businesses in 2003, the company says. The new name is to be, UBS Wealth Management USA.
This is the latest century-old name to be dumped in an ever-changing industry where financial services companies are consolidating. Morgan Stanley dropped Dean Witter from its name earlier this year, and Citigroup plans to drop the name Salomon, leaving its U.S. brokerage unit as Smith Barney.
If one needed more evidence about Wall Street’s transformation from brokering trades to providing one-stop-shop financial advice, this is exhibit 251.
Naturally, the name change doesn’t sit well with the rank-and-file, which tend to dislike any brand changes. "It’s a sad day," says a veteran PaineWebber rep. "The PaineWebber name has history, tradition. It’s a huge selling point. It’s going to take a lot of getting use to."
By dropping the PaineWebber name, the firm claims it will be allowed to focus on one brand and avoid confusion among clients. The firm says it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between different brand names.
The firm will implement the name change in the second half
of 2003, so it can concentrate on the UBS brand worldwide.
Paine Webber, which was founded in Boston in 1879, "dramatically strengthened UBS's name recognition in the U.S.," according to a rep.