Wachovia Corp. has renamed its brokerage unit Wachovia Investments, a move that the North Carolina banking company says underscores the breadth of services it now offers.
In the past year, the unit, formerly known as Wachovia Securities, has added investment counseling and retirement plan services to its product menu, a spokesman said.
The $39 billion-asset banking company also named Robert S. Kniejski president of the subsidiary. He had been manager of the unit - the No. 1 position - for more than a year.
Mr. Kniejski, who joined Wachovia in 1987, had been in charge of trust product marketing and development. In that position, he reported to William Spence, the former head of consumer financial services, who recently accepted another position with the bank.
Mr. Kniejski will now report to G. Joseph Prendergast, executive vice president at Wachovia Corp. He will oversee Wachovia's 115 investment representatives who work through the bank's retail branches.
He is also responsible for marketing and management of all annuity products and mutual funds, including Wachovia's proprietary Biltmore Funds.
Wachovia is the latest of a handful of banks that have recently made moves to further integrate their retail and trust businesses.
First Chicago Corp., formed a subsidiary in January to bring together parts of its investment management and sales businesses. Milwaukee-based Firstar Corp. also recently finished a reorganization of its investment sales and management strategy.
"Banks are starting to find that they can't have disparate parts of their investment management business and give them all the resources they need," said Glen Casey, a consultant with Cerulli Associates, Boston.
Wachovia has built a successful trust business, gathering some $18 billion of assets, Mr. Casey said. He said the appointment of a trust officer to head its investment management group is a sign that the bank is serious about duplicating that success with its retail mutual fund effort.
Avi Nachmany, an analyst with New York-based Strategic Insight, said Wachovia, like other banks in the mutual fund business, had been slow to build up its retail distribution. But this year Wachovia doubled its investment sales force.
He added that in that respect Wachovia had done well, with most of its proprietary mutual funds performing above the market average in the past few years.