"What do you think of 'Wells Fargo Center'?"

The Flyers and Sixers play in an arena named for a company that no longer exists, now that the former Wachovia Bank is part of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co.

"What do you think of 'Wells Fargo Center'?" asks Hugh Long, former head of Wachovia's New York-to-Washington region, who's gone back to an earlier post he held -- head of Pennsylvania and Delaware. He's one of six executives, four of them Wachovia veterans, reporting to Wells Fargo's new East Coast "community banking" chief, Laura Schulte. New Jersey and New York go to another Wachovia veteran, Michele Lee.

"I would expect the Wells Fargo name will be prominently displayed," including on the South Philly arena, Long said. That's not final, he added. Meanwhile, it could take "the next couple of years" to merge Wells and Wachovia computers and "rebrand" Wachovia's 300 local branches. Wachovia employs 8,000 locally, and Wells around 2,000.

Long says he's glad to be part of Wells, one of the more solvent of the major U.S. banks, instead of rival bidder Citigroup, which is being split in pieces since it proved unprofitable and unmanageable. He said he expects customers will get the familiar Wachovia services they're used to, plus the "enhanced balance sheet that Wells Fargo gives us."

Continue Reading