As merger finalizes, Wachovia era ends

Charlotte ObserverOctober 15, 2011 

Jay Everette watched as a pair of workers unbolted the last Wachovia sign, leaving an empty space beneath the new Wells Fargo name and laying to rest a brand born in North Carolina 130 years ago.

A 16-year bank veteran, he oversaw the creation of the familiar blue-and-green logo after Wachovia Corp. and First Union Corp. merged.

"When I see the sign come down, it's bittersweet," Everette said Thursday. "But I see it as more of a celebration than a sad thing. I'm ready to move forward."

The conversion to Wells Fargo & Co. wraps up today and Monday, three years after the San Francisco bank snapped up Charlotte's Wachovia as it verged on collapse. At branches across North Carolina, temporary Wachovia banners fell to reveal red-and-yellow Wells signs, bankers navigated the new systems they'd trained on for months and customers encountered new product names and fees.

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