One of the pieces of fallout of the US economic situation was the merger of Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney, two of the largest investment and financial management firms in the world. The new company dubbed Morgan Stanley Smith Barney began notifying customers of the name change earlier this month via USPS, and the letters were written on Morgan Stanley Smith Barney letterhead, although there is no url cited in the top or bottom of the letter.
The renamed organization does own the long MorganStanleySmithBarney.com domain name, but that’s a pain in the ass to type in and not typo. Clients can still log into their accounts by using MorganStanley.com or SmithBarney.com as they did before, but I would imagine something will change once the rollout has been completed to help with brand cohesiveness and recognition.
Although the domain name MSSB.com was registered and owned well before the merger, MSSB has done itself a major disservice by not acquiring the domain name already. Since the merger came together quickly and was announced quickly to help stem consumer concern, they didn’t have time to negotiate to buy a domain name during this period of time. However, in the months following, they have had plenty of time to acquire it as well as the resources.
The owner has one obvious buyer, and MSSB has an obvious motivation to get a deal done. Let’s hope both parties realize this and work out something beneficial. Every day that the new company operates, the domain name becomes more valuable.
Both companies do seem to understand the value of short domain names, with Morgan Stanley owning MS.com, and Smith Barney owning SSB.com (short for Salomon Smith Barney), although SSB.com doesn’t resolve any longer for some reason.