With "Citi" is the Smith Barney dead?

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Jan 16, 2007 8:35 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/15/business/15citi.html?em&am p;ex=1169096400&en=264ac5e97158eace&ei=5087%0A


What are they saying at Smith Barney today about the new "Citi" announcement?  Is this the end of Smith Barney.  If so what a shame that the once great brand has been kicked to the curb by Prince and the big bank.  Looks like it has been in the works for some time.  Logo used to be big Smith Barney and little Citigroup.  Now it is big Citigroup - little Smith Barney.  Place appears to have become more of a bank and less of a brokerage firm and it appears that this philosiphy is okay for those at the top.  Not sure that Barney execs are going to have much say in the matter either.  When you only represent 4% of "Citi" revenues you are the (excuse the cliche) red-headed step child (didnt that used to be Primericas role???).

Jan 16, 2007 1:39 pm

Overall, it will probably help them. At least that way their name makes it to the TV once in a while (related point, I spoke with a Foghorn from Legghorn  Mason the other day, who had recently been a Citi employee, he was chagrinned by the "We don't own mutual funds, so we can be objective." line in the SB ads).


Of course, right after they do the name change, they'll probably spin off or merger off the brokerage unit, that would be about par for their course.


The Mets will be playing in CitiField? That's a sign just waiting for an "H".


Mr. A

Jan 16, 2007 8:17 pm

I think changing from Citigroup to Citi is a good move.  Citigroup sounds too holding company-ish.


Smith Barney brand isn't changing, AFAIK.


The umbrella did lend credibility for those who aren't familiar with the financial services business.  Otherwise, it is meaningless given Citi's disassociation with Travelers.

Jan 16, 2007 9:12 pm
opie:

I think changing from Citigroup to Citi is a good move.  Citigroup sounds too holding company-ish.


Smith Barney brand isn't changing, AFAIK.


The umbrella did lend credibility for those who aren't familiar with the financial services business.  Otherwise, it is meaningless given Citi's disassociation with Travelers.



I think they were sick and tired of the "Citigrope" nickname being replaced for Citigroup. 


Was Prince's main reason for the "re-branding"..Can anyone confirm this?

Jan 16, 2007 10:12 pm

Citigroup seems almost obsessed with making branding changes. Smith Barney has undergone three or so in the last 5 years and the rest of Citigroup is being constantly rebranded (Citibank to Citi Financial Centers, Citibank Private Bank to Citigroup Private Bank, research from Salomon to Smith Barney to Citigroup Investment Research, etc)/


Must be very expensive to keep on rebranding.. And ultimately, it dilutes the brand.

Jan 16, 2007 10:24 pm

Smith Barney has been a net loser of broker headcount over the last year or

two, but that has more to do with the fact that the stock (C) has done

nothing when compared to MER or MS than the re-branding issue.



They ought to just spin it off.

Jan 16, 2007 11:32 pm
skeedaddy2:

Smith Barney has been a net loser of broker headcount over the last year or two, but that has more to do with the fact that the stock (C) has done
nothing when compared to MER or MS than the re-branding issue.


Actually, that's due to many Legg Mason reps not hanging around after the exchange, as expected.

Jan 17, 2007 7:02 pm

I think this is much ado about nothing. Smith Barney has one of the best brands in the business.  Very little has changed there. I think the indies on this board have wirehouse envy.

Jan 17, 2007 7:14 pm

Or could be the banks are taking over. What is going to happen when Bank of America or Wells buys Merrill and renames it BOA or Wells?

Jan 17, 2007 7:31 pm

If BOA buys Merrill - Every broker at Merrill better leave or put a bullet in their heads!

Jan 17, 2007 8:00 pm

Merrill will be bought by someone

Jan 17, 2007 9:08 pm

I think we've seen all the deals we're going to see for a while. Let's face it, we

are difficult to get along with and have a record of terrible corporate culture

clashes.

Jan 17, 2007 11:22 pm

I believe the buyer will be a foreing giant, but I am not ruling out BOA, they are getting blocked out of M & A activity on their core banking business because othe gov't says they are to BIG

Jan 17, 2007 11:28 pm
bankrep1:

Or could be the banks are taking over. What is going to happen when Bank of America or Wells buys Merrill and renames it BOA or Wells?





That's a good one.....where do you get this stuff?

Jan 18, 2007 12:02 am

Banks effectively destroy investment banks with their dreadful and very risk-averse cultures.


1. H&Q


2. Robinson Stephens


3. Montgomery Securities


4. Salomon Smith Barney

Jan 18, 2007 1:26 am
san fran broker:

Banks effectively destroy investment banks with their dreadful and very risk-averse cultures.


1. H&Q


2. Robinson Stephens


3. Montgomery Securities


4. Salomon Smith Barney



Exactly!  Well put!

Salomon Smith Barney Rubble Citigrope is probably the most common example.  Robbie Stephens probably the most egregious.

Jan 18, 2007 11:36 am
bankrep1:

I believe the buyer will be a foreing giant, but I am not ruling out BOA, they are getting blocked out of M & A activity on their core banking business because othe gov't says they are to BIG


How ironic would it be if the PGA took over a brokerage firm?!


"FORE!!"


Mr.A


Jan 18, 2007 10:53 pm

Personally, I find it sad to see the state of wirehouses right now. The

corporate parents seem to bastardize them every few years when there

are management changes, shareholder clashes, etc. It's actually too bad

some of the wirehouses aren't partnerships anymore. I liked the "old

school" cache they had. It's like they are all becoming the stepchild of the

global banks.



The people that get hurt are the FA's and the clients. They change the

rules all the time, then the FA's change firms, so the clients change firms

(or get yet another FA). The major wires should go private again. Maybe

I'm just nostalgic....

Jan 19, 2007 12:27 am
san fran broker:

Citigroup seems almost obsessed with making branding changes. Smith Barney has undergone three or so in the last 5 years and the rest of Citigroup is being constantly rebranded (Citibank to Citi Financial Centers, Citibank Private Bank to Citigroup Private Bank, research from Salomon to Smith Barney to Citigroup Investment Research, etc)/


Must be very expensive to keep on rebranding.. And ultimately, it dilutes the brand.

I agree, I am amazed at all the great old brands that Citi has chucked over the years. Why?