Smith Barney Moniker to Go Extinct?


Add the Smith Barney name to the endangered species list.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is thinking about canning the 73-year-old Smith Barney moniker from Wall Street’s largest brokerage force.

Morgan Stanley has in recent weeks asked its clients to choose from six potential new names for the operation, but none of them included Smith Barney, the paper reported.

Smith Barney has more than 18,000 brokers and is run by a joint venture by Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Morgan, which owns a controlling 51% stake in the business. Morgan has said it plans to buy out the rest of the venture.

If a name change goes through, Smith Barney would join a long line of storied Wall Street names to go by the wayside, including Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Salomon Brothers and Dean Witter.

"We regularly survey clients about a lot of things relevant to our brand, and I wouldn't read a whole lot into this,” a Morgan spokesman told the Journal.