continues to undergo branding shifts as its parent firm digests it's U.S. acquisitions. Recently the firm decided to convert its direct-sold Scudder mutual funds to advisor-sold funds, and to combine its fund families under the Scudder Investments brand. Now, Zurich, the parent is adding its name to the Scudder's worldwide institutional business.
The firm's retail brands will remain unchanged. A spokesperson for the firm said that Scudder Defined Contribution Services will keep its name at this moment. The former Kemper defined contribution business has already been absorbed into the Scudder brand.
Under the plan Scudder Kemper Investments will become Zurich Scudder Investments in 2001. The firm explained the move as being part of a "strategic plan to reinforce Scudder's association with its parent." It added that the new name also aligns the firm more closely with Zurich's other asset businesses, including Zurich Capital Markets, Capital Z Investment Partners, and the Centre group of companies.
"Zurich Scudder Investments combines the strength, value, and character of Scudder's investment competency with Zurich's leadership in financial services," said Rolf Huppi, chairman and chief executive officer of Zurich n. "Alignment of these two names fortifies our role as a total financial solutions provider."
The firm will retail it current retail brands, including: Scudder Investments, Threadneedle Investments, and Zurich Investments.
"With this move, we are sending a clear message: We are a global firm committed to delivering investment excellence to our clients around the world," said Edmond D. Villani, chief executive officer of Scudder Kemper Investments. "This new name allows us to capitalize on Zurich's reputation in the global financial services arena."
Some observers have noted, though, that the decision to rebrand the firm's advisor-sold funds under the Kemper brand has sacrificed the better known name with intermediaries than Scudder.
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