One of the more memorable financial ad campaigns in history bit the dust today, that of actor John Houseman who we frequently heard say “They [Smith Barney] make money the old-fashioned way — they earn it.”
Smith Barney is no more. It is now “Morgan Stanley Wealth Management” a joint venture with Citigroup.
And so it is … Smith Barney Officially Bites the Dust
Morgan Stanley announced today that it has renamed its U.S. wealth management business Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, dropping the Smith Barney name from the joint venture it co-owns with Citigroup Inc.
“The Smith Barney name stood for investment excellence for three-quarters of a century, and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management will provide the first-class service that has distinguished Morgan Stanley as a firm for more than 75 years,” Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman said in a statement. “Today, as we move forward under one name, we are culminating a three-year effort to integrate two outstanding franchises.”
Morgan Stanley launched a new Smith Barney-less advertising campaign today.
The ash heap of history is littered with the names of venerable brokerage houses either subsumed into other firms or driven out of business by financial crises. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. are the most recent examples.
Smith Barney was one of the more recognized names on Wall Street for many years. Anyone over 40 likely remembers the firm’s 1980s ad campaign in which actor John Houseman intoned in his best blue-blood accent “[Smith Barney] makes money the old-fashioned way — they earn it.”
Old Fashioned Video
The above clip from DealBook Can the S.E.C. Win an Insider Case the Old-Fashioned Way?
Over thirty years ago, the actor John Houseman intoned about brokerage firm Smith Barney: “They make money the old-fashioned way. They earn it.”
A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit may result in a test of whether the Securities and Exchange Commission can prove an insider trading case the old-fashioned way – by putting on a circumstantial case built around a well-timed trade and contacts with an insider. ….
Ash Heap of History
Supposedly the “Smith Barney name stood for investment excellence for three-quarters of a century” yet they are shutting it down.
How did that happen?
My guess is “they earned it”.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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