Pride of the Fleet
Everyone loves a parade, and that includes FleetBoston Financial Corp., especially when it makes good business sense.
On Sunday, the Boston banking company had a mobile ATM rolling along in New York's boisterous Gay Pride parade. FleetBoston has been making a big marketing push in the area, trying to get its brand in front of New Yorkers for a couple of years now. And according to spokeswoman Rena DeSisto, this is the company's third year of participation in the Gay Pride parade.
Though Fleet rolls out the mobile ATM for a variety of outdoor events, the demand for cash is not usually so high, Ms. DeSisto said. On Sunday the truck, which was stocked with $40,000, ran out of money.
Sunny Side Up
SunTrust Banks is trying a little tenderness in its bid to court 120,000 Wachovia Corp. shareholders and persuade them to vote down a merger with First Union Corp.
The Atlanta banking company is set to take its pitch directly to individual investors in a series of "town meetings" next month ahead of the Aug. 3 Wachovia shareholder vote. SunTrust plans to hit a number of sites in the Southeast but will focus on North Carolina and Virginia, where many Wachovia shareholders live, according to Barry Koling, a SunTrust spokesman.
"Our thought is to take our story to where Wachovia shareholders are," Mr. Koling said. SunTrust is also continuing to hold individual meetings and hitting the phones to get to institutional investors. "We want to set the record straight," Mr. Koling said.
Meanwhile SunTrust's proxy statement, which began arriving in Wachovia shareholders' mailboxes this week, makes an effort to soothe frayed nerves by explaining just why everyone is getting so hostile. Section 17 on SunTrust's proxy asks, "Why does there seem to be so much hostility between the parties?"
It's perfectly normal in these situations, according to SunTrust. "Proxy contests are by definition adversarial, harsh in tone and tactic, but that's the process by which these things are worked out."
Days in Court
Zion's Bancorp's chief financial officer Dale Gibbons appeared in Salt Lake District Court Wednesday morning, and a judge set his next court date for July 12.
Mr. Gibbons was suspended from his job last week after Salt Lake City police arrested him on charges of drug possession and child abuse, after his juvenile daughter was allegedly found by police to have been subject to controlled substances. He was released from the Salt Lake metropolitan jail Saturday on $150,000 bail.
His attorney, Neil Chaplain of Clyde Snow Sessions & Swanson, did not return calls seeking comment.
Got Paper Clips?
Will the office supplies be more abundant now that Alan "Ace" Greenberg is bowing out from the top ranks of Bear Stearns Cos.?
For years under Mr. Greenberg's reign as chief executive, and even more recently while he has been chairman, new employees have been handed a paper bag holding ten paper clips, ten rubber bands and other assorted office supplies and a memo from Mr. Greenberg advocating conservation and reuse.
"These are the only paper clips and rubber bands that Bear Stearns will ever buy for you," one employee recalls the memo saying. "The message was, 'make it last,' " the employee said.
Of course, there are ways around everything. Binder clips, for example, are available in unlimited supply, "so we use those," another employee said.