Bank of America Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., is keeping the name of its merged retail brokerage close to home, calling it Banc of America Investment Services Inc.
"The new name is in keeping with the overall brand and it conveys what we provide to our clients," a spokesman said.
NationsBank Corp. and the old BankAmerica Corp. merged in September to create what is now a $614 billion-asset banking company. The companies' brokerage units were combined Monday, the spokesman said, and the merged unit has 722 full-time brokers and more than 2,300 bankers who also sell investments.
Observers said it makes sense for Bank of America to attach its name to the retail brokerage.
"Obviously they are leveraging the Bank of America brand," said Clayton Tolley, the president of Addison Whitney, a Charlotte-based corporate identity and branding firm.
Eric Brody, the president of Saw Tooth Branding in Woodbridge, N.J., said the name promotes continuity. "You want clarity. You want simplicity. You want a very strong focus," he said.
Richard V. Downen, who was the chief operating officer of NationsBanc Investments Inc., was named president of the unit in February. The position was originally filled by Henry J. Rose, the president of NationsBank's brokerage unit, who retired early in the year.
Mr. Downen was on vacation Tuesday and could not be reached. But in an interview in May he said the merged unit combines about 400 full-time brokers and 700 part-time brokers from NationsBanc Investments and roughly 300 full-time brokers and 1,600 part-time representatives from BA Investment Services Inc.
Part-time brokers, who sell a money-manager account and screen customers for full-time brokers, will start selling mutual funds late this year, he had said.
"Our focus right now is getting everybody to the same point so we have common procedures and common training," Mr. Downen had said.
He also said in May that what role James P. Albo, the chairman of BA Investment Services, would play was uncertain. The spokesman said Tuesday that he did not have additional information.
The banking company said in December that it planned to lay off 300 brokers and support employees during the first quarter. Though the spokesman declined to comment on whether there would be more layoffs, he said the brokerage is "well positioned going forward to meet our customers' needs."
Banc of America Investment Services serves more than 500,000 customers, with total assets of $50 billion. The brokerage subsidiary has more than 540 locations in 20 states. The unit also houses the discount arm of NationsBanc Investments.