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June 30, 2005
Wall Street's vanishing brands
What's a brand name worth on Wall Street? Apparently, either a lot (when things are good) or nothing at all (when things are bad). Credit Suisse First Boston will now be known simply as Credit Suisse, thank you very much. First, the Frank Quattrone IPO scandal and general discontent about the dot-com bust tarnished the company's image. Then, the Swiss banker-gnomes in Zurich didn't much like the cost-cutting and head-chopping mentality of the American investment bankers when Morgan Stanley-bound John Mack was trying to right the ship.
As Crain's New York points out, it's the end of an era: "Add First Boston to the growing list of Wall Street brand names that have been retired... The investment bank's Zurich-based parent, Credit Suisse Group, said that at the start of next year it will drop the name whose roots go back to 1932. First Boston will join such distinguished brands as PaineWebber, Bankers Trust, and Kidder Peabody that have vanished from the scene."
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