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Friday, May 11, 2018

A 107-Year-Old Firm Updates Its Brand

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A 107-year-old advisory firm and mutual fund shop with more than $2.2 billion in AUM is updating its brand.

George Young, PM and partner at St. Denis J. Villere & Company [profile], confirms that the New Orleans-based company is going through a "complete rebrand," which includes updating its website, its logo (with new lettering and a different kind of green), and more. And more changes may be next, thanks to a strategic review they went through last month with Schwab, their primary custodian.

For the brand updating process, Villere is working with a local marketing firm, Zehno.

"They know us very well," Young tells MFWire.

A key part of the rebranding is to highlight both sides of Villere's business: its mutual funds and its direct advisory business with institutional investors and wealth individuals. They had the Zfehno team interview different Villere clients to "try and develop these personas" for the two business lines.

"We want people to know we have two businesses," Young says.

Earlier this spring, Zehno brought in a photographer to work with the Villere team. Next up comes the online upgrade, which includes a new advisory client portal.

"The old website was adequate, but you just need to have more," Young says.

The rebranding process comes after Villere made a key hire: Michael Hedstrom.

"We realized a year and a half ago that we weren't as effective as we should be, so we hired a chief marketing officer in August," Young says. "He's up to speed now."

Young's great-grandfather founded the firm in 1911, and it is still family-run today (with Young working alongside two cousins and an uncle). Series trust giant U.S. Bank supports Villere's mutual funds. 

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