Magazine article American Banker

Wachovia Puts on A New Face and Gives Sneak Peek

Magazine article American Banker

Wachovia Puts on A New Face and Gives Sneak Peek

Article excerpt

First Union Corp. completed its $14 billion acquisition of the old Wachovia Corp. six months ago, but there have been few outward signs of the big marriage -- until now.

The company, which took the seller's name, will unveil its post-merger branding strategy today in a series of employee meetings and a morning press conference. The events will offer a glimpse at how Wachovia plans to position itself when it begins consolidating branches this fall.

One component -- a new logo -- may have been leaked. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site lists a Feb. 26 filing for a design that features "Wachovia" in bold, traditional-style capital letters under a black box crossed by intertwining lines, and if you look close enough you can make out what resemble a pair of Ws resting on their sides.

Wachovia officials would not discuss the filing, first reported in Wednesday's Charlotte Observer.

"We're not commenting on that logo," company spokeswoman Christy Phillips said. "Our priority and focus is on sharing our new brand mark with our 84,000 employees first."

The $330 billion-asset company has moved slowly, on purpose, in integrating business units, and offices and branches nationwide still carry First Union or Wachovia signage. Branch consolidation is not scheduled to begin until November. That's when most customers will get their first real taste of how the merger has transformed their old banks.

Wachovia's name, taken from the Austrian region whose people settled Winston-Salem in the mid-18th century, is respected in some business circles but little known outside the Southeast. …

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