From the June 2009 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

Wachovia Securities Rebrands, Becomes Wells Fargo Advisors

The broker-dealer that recently merged with A.G. Edwards is now officially Wells Fargo Advisors.

Wachovia Securities is now using the Wells Fargo Advisors name, officially rebranding its business under its new parent, Wells Fargo & Company, the company says.

"Today, as Wells Fargo Advisors, we begin a new chapter in our storied brokerage history," explains Danny Ludeman, president and CEO of the brokerage firm.

According to the firm, the Wells Fargo Advisors name was selected thanks to input from financial advisors, customer surveys and competitive analysis. The new name is being rolled out first on marketing materials, business cards and online. Signs with the new brand will start appearing on brokerage offices in the fall and continue into early 2010, according to the company.

Advisors operating within the firm's independent channel will carry the Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network brand.

The business includes close to 16,000 financial advisors, with 12,000 in the private client group and about 3,000 in the bank locations as of March 31. Total client assets stand at $910 billion.

In terms of recruiting, the brokerage firm is "getting lots of second looks" from advisors across the industry, according to a spokesperson. Close to 640 advisors were hired in the first quarter of 2009, with 200 net advisors coming on board, mainly from other firms.

The rebranding of Wachovia Securities comes two years after the firm bought A. G. Edwards of St. Louis. On April 20, former A.G. Edwards CEO Benjamin F. Edwards III died of cancer at age 77. He retired from the firm in 2001, after assuming the helm in 1967. The firm was founded by his great grandfather in 1887.

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