Having built a strong investment banking and wealth management franchise based on relationships, integrity and prudent risk-taking, Stephens found itself in an enviably secure position as many competitors continued to rebuild following the financial crisis. To capitalize on this significant advantage, Stephens decided to communicate its unique value proposition to a wider audience of corporations and high-net-worth investors.
Research revealed that the firm’s clients understood and appreciated the firm’s long-established values, including integrity and transparency. The challenge: find a way to make these values credible and relevant to prospective clients who weren’t familiar with the firm’s storied history. The new brand communicates the underpinning of Stephens’ strong corporate values: independence. Independence from external shareholders. Independence from the sometimes insular perspective of the Wall Street-based investment community. Independence from stale thinking. Most importantly, independence to do what’s right for the client.
An internal brand launch and an ongoing employee engagement program transformed the entire Stephens staff into brand ambassadors. A key component of our branding recommendations was creating Center Street, an annual, invitation-only summit of CEOs who gather at Stephens’ headquarters to discuss pressing economic, social and geopolitical issues. A wider audience of corporate executives and high-net-worth investors now view Stephens as a world-class financial services firm, and a potential partner with the independence to meet their needs over the long term.
Center Street has been a marquee event for Stephens for seven years
Stephens has grown to 26 offices in three countries following the brand launch