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A.G. Edwards to Wachovia Securities to Wells Fargo Advisors in Two Years, Blog Anniversary

October 1, 2009 Local Business, Midtown, Site Info 10 Comments

Two years ago today A.G. Edwards became Wachovia Securities.  From the Post-Dispatch on the vote the Friday before:

In five minutes it was over.

That’s how long it took Friday for shareholders of A.G. Edwards Inc. to approve the demise of the 120-year-old St. Louis-based brokerage when they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $6.8 billion purchase by Wachovia Corp.

The final shareholders’ meeting, before a standing-room only audience in the company’s main auditorium, was little more than a formality to announce the results of voting that took place earlier.

Just over a year later, in December 2008, Wells Fargo bought Wachovia.  It was not until May of this year that the Wachovia Securities name was dropped.  Post-Dispatch:

On Friday, the company officially changed the name of the unit from Wachovia Securities.

Wells Fargo bought ailing Wachovia Bank in December, and the securities unit came with the deal. It employs 4,800 people in metro St. Louis, mainly at its Jefferson Avenue headquarters.

The company plans to roll out its new moniker over the next few months. The website will be renamed in June, statements will change in July and the signs on the buildings will switch after that, with the transition completed early next year.

The headquarters on Jefferson now has survived two big mergers without large-scale layoffs. Originally the home of A.G. Edwards Inc., the firm was sold to Wachovia in 2007.

One of my earliest posts was a review of the then A.G. Edwards campus.

A.G. Edwards HQ, November 2004
A.G. Edwards HQ, November 2004

On November 22, 2004 I wrote:

We are stuck with a campus better suited to a greenfield site in the hinterlands. The employees drive in from the ‘burbs, park and return to the ‘burbs at 5pm. Of course, some of their employees live in the city but it is likely they drive to the campus. I saw no bike racks – not even at the visitor’s entrance. It is possible employees walk to Union Station or perhaps the Tap Room for lunch – both locations are about six blocks East. I’d be willing to bet most employees either stay within the campus or drive to a lunch destination. When I’ve got a free lunch hour I will observe the comings and goings of the campus during the lunch hours.

Rather than give A.G. Edwards awards we should be shaming them and their long term architects, Raymond E. Maritz & Sons, into changing their ways. This is unlikely to happen. Instead, city life will naturally avoid this vacuum. East of Jefferson a wonderfully urban area is blossoming along both Locust & Washington Ave – extending all the way East of Tucker. West of Jefferson life is quickly emerging along Locust. A small real estate developer on Locust has done more in two years to generate life than Edwards has done in over 30 years at the current location.

Today also marks the start of the 5th anniversary month of this blog.  Halloween will mark the start of the 6th year of UrbanReviewSTL.  Throughout this month I will bring you my favorite posts from the last five years. I’ve had a blast these last four years and eleven months.  I look forward to the next five years.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Randy V. says:

    I have always hated that suburban-style campus occupied by AG Edwards. I actually remember what was there before they expanded. It had been the Lafayette Town public housing projects, which I think consisted of about 2 or 3 highrises and a few smaller monolithic buildings intermixed between them. I remember thinking that it looked like “Good Times” or something. And of course not far from that was Laclede Town, which was awesome in its own right. Too bad we are stuck with that corporate void in the urban landscape.

  2. This might be the ugliest building in the City.

    [slp — True but I can deal with ugly. What I can’t deal with is how this complex and so many others just suck the life out of the city — not because of aesthetics but the anti-urban design. No wonder you don’t see many pedestrians in this area — who’d want to walk next to this?]

  3. Jeff says:

    I agree the A.G. Edwards complex does not add much to the area. The bright side is 4800 employees contributing to the city’s 1% earnings tax. At an average of salary of $50,000 that amounts to $2.4 million. At least they have stayed in the city.

  4. Tim B VISTA says:

    I work outside in the “shadow” of the Wells Fargo complex (still odd to say that) and the buildings are just kind of “there” if you catch my drift. Steve’s right, there aren’t many pedestrians in the area and the ones who do walk by have nothing to do with the Wells Fargo complex. A friend of mine works there and she says that she either eats lunch at her desk, goes to the big cafeteria, or sometimes goes out to eat, but she drives when she does that. Such a pity that a company with 3,000+ employees can’t have a better connection with the surrounding city. Wells Fargo should be an anchor to build around, not an anchor dragging down the 3 block area around it.

    [slp — exactly, with this many employees in one spot this area should be a buzz with activity. But the HQ design prevents that from happening. Placing a parking garage on a prominent corner is exhibit A.]

  5. David says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if Wells-Fargo could arrange to gift, sell or lease this “campus” of buildings to Harris-Stowe and move its headquarters into a new highrise in the heart of downtown, adjacent to a Metrolink station?

    [slp — such a move is unnecessary, om a future post I will show how the gaps in and around their HQ can be filled in with liner buildings (shallow storefront spaces). We need to draw those employees out of their cubes and lunch and get them to walk to work from the Union Station MetroLink stop.]

  6. Mark Groth says:

    I hope one of the posts you revive will be the hilarious one about the “Dynasty” rails in front of the Boatman’s building. That was a classic. From that point on, I have always refered to that cheesy 80’s gold trim as Dynasty rails.

  7. Tim E says:

    Steve, My gut feeling is that McKee’s plan development for a new 22nd street interchange (can’t recall if it is Phase A or B in the northside plan) would be a plus for Wells Fargo. Do you see a plus side for Wells Fargo? If anything, maybe by just improving freeway access is what it will take to keep Wells Fargo from having second thoughts about the regions committment to their presence. Wachovia expressed their desire to stay in St. Louis by relocating their top security investors from Richmond to St. Louis. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen or read anything that amounts to such a committment from Wells Fargo. Replacing signs and having the stage coach show up for an appearance doesn’t mean a whole lot.

    If the Northside plan fails or goes forward their is a little Federal DOT stimulus grant program known as TIGER grants that might help. St. Louis Development Corporation has a $24.5 million TIGER Grant application submitted to rebuild the 22nd Street Interchange. I’m hoping this grant gets awarded at a minimum.

    Wishful thinking, but what about Wells Fargo taking up space in McKee’s vision of a 40 story office building anchoring the West End of the mall. I’m really wishful, since I’m also picturing a soccer stadium between the new 22nd Street and Union Station. Of course, The soccer stadium would have a bar and grill anchor the north end along Market Street and a rebuilt Drury Inn anchoring the south end along an extended Clark Street (Drury likes to be visible from freeways as most hotels is my train of though). I don’t stop their, hoping the BLUES will share the Scottrade schedule with a NBA team while events and concerts are moved over to the refurbished Opera House. How can you beat entertaining a client by putting him up in a room that overlooks a MLS game, or in a room a short walk to a NHL, NBA or MLB game. If Sports don’t work, get him or her tickets to latest show/concert in town or send them on a short taxi ride to Grand Center. If all fails, after happy your at least your a short stumble to home for the night and a short walk to the office in the morning. You wouldn’t be able to do that anywhere in the region.

  8. Alex says:

    This is news from Wachovia for me.Thank you so much.

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