By GWEN MURANAKA
RAFU ENGLISH EDITOR IN CHIEF
Sorry, California. The Golden State was dropped from Union Bank’s name as the banking institution entered a new era this week with an updated logo and marketing efforts. Over the next several months, the logo will adorn all Union Bank branches, ATMs and business offices. In Little Tokyo, workers installed the new signage at the office on San Pedro Street earlier this month.
George Tanaka, senior vice president and head of the Japanese American market segement, explained the makeover is in keeping with an updated mission for Union Bank, N.A. as it seeks to expand its business beyond its West Coast base. Among its outside clients are Reostar Energy Corp., a Ft. Worth, Tex.-based energy company which secured a $25 million secured revolving credit facility through Union Bank last November.
“I think that for several years now as we’re branching out for specific business reasons out to the other states it became apparent that our name wasn’t quite indicative of what our mission is. So I think that’s the key reason we took the name off,” Tanaka said.
On Monday, employees at the Los Angeles main office on Figueroa St. gathered in the plaza to celebrate the change on what was dubbed Marketing Day One. A similar celebration was held at the San Francisco headquarters presided over by President and CEO Masaaki Tanaka.
On Tuesday, Union Bank also announced a new global business coordination unit which will partner with parent company Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s extensive international networks. Last year Union Bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of BTMU and has assets of $68.78 billion making it the nation’s 16th largest commercial bank holding company.
Even as the bank looks beyond California, Tanaka asserted that it is still focused on its core client base, including Japanese Americans and the bank continues to support the Japanese American community. CEO Masaaki Tanaka (no relation) has been selected as Grand Marshall of this year’s Nisei Week Grand Parade.
“Banking clients are always looking for trust in their bank, they’re looking for great service, they’re looking for a long-term relationship that’s something we’ve enjoyed in the Nikkei community probably longer than any other clients we have,” Tanaka said.