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New Corporate Names hit a record high

What's in a name? Apparently a lot. There were a 583 corporate name changes in the first six months of 1983. The record number of new names at the half-year mark represents a 26.9 percent increase over the first half of 1982, when 424 renamings occurred. Many changes took place in states showing signs of improved economic activity, according to Anspach Grossman Portugal Inc., a marketing consulting firm specializing in identity changes.

More than half the name changes were in the financial-services field, Anspach says. Name changes among banks, thrifts, investment firms and funds, brokerage houses, and insurance companies totaled 3028 or 56.1 percent of the whole. On a percentage basis, this figure is down slightly from the first half of 1982. This was the ninth straight year that financial institutions accounted for the largest share of new names, Anspach adds.

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Deregulation and the resulting mergers of bank holding companies prompted the continued, if not accelerated, number of name changes in the financial field, according to Anspach. The firm noted that such consolidations are occurring not only among smaller banks and holding companies but also among many of the larger ones. Anspach cited the example of CoreStates Financial Corporation, the new holding company name bestowed on the now-merged Philadelphia National Bank and Hamilton Bank, Lancaster, Pa.

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