Key Asset Management, the investment management arm of Cleveland-based KeyCorp, is preparing to merge all of its units under a single brand, beginning next month.

Richard J. Buoncore, president and chief executive officer, said the initiative is necessary to build the reputation of Key Asset Management. “We have numerous brand names,” Mr. Buoncore said. “They are not well known. We have to get to a single brand.”

The effort will bring units such as Cincinnati-based Gradison Asset Management and Key Asset’s equity, specialty, fixed income, and money market portfolios under one brand, Mr. Buoncore said, speaking during a presentation to investors at a conference hosted by Putnam Lovell Securities Inc. in New York on Tuesday. “We will unite all the companies,” he said. However, what the new brand name will be has yet to be determined. Mr. Buoncore has hinted that it will likely be closely tied to the KeyCorp name.

The individual names will continue to appear under the umbrella of the new brand, but ultimately will disappear, leaving one brand that connects the subsidiary directly to the main brand.

Other plans for Key Asset Management include diversifying the unit’s sales mix. KeyCorp will continue to build partnerships with other advisory firms to increase its external distribution.

“As good as the KeyCorp brand is, we cannot do it on our own,” he said. KeyCorp already works with Merrill Lynch & Co. in institutional asset management and 401K plans.

Mr. Buoncore told investors that his aim is to build the asset management part of KeyCorp to 20% of the company’s overall earnings and contribute more to KeyCorp’s valuation. Asset management now brings in 9% of revenues and 10% of pretax income.

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