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1st Exchange rebrands as Avelo

The combined businesses of 1st Exchange, N4 and Screen Business are to rebrand as Avelo from April 4.

1st Exchange acquired Screen Business, a firm which supplies websites and internet applications, in February and bought software provider N4 Solutions last June.

In August 2009, Lloyds TSB Development Capital bought a majority stake in 1st Exchange in a £115m deal.

Avelo managing director Chris Noblet says: “Our industry is going through a period of re-invention spurred on by three drivers:  consumer demand for greater transparency and value together with more cost effective products, new regulation to address this and the digital revolution which is changing the way we behave and access financial products. 

“This is where Avelo comes in.  With a track record of delivery in specialist areas, collectively we now bring a powerful technology capability to the entire market and can keep our customers and their clients connected, competitive and cost effective throughout the distribution journey – both in the run up to RDR, MMR and beyond.”


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There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As a long term user of LSD/1st/Adviser Office i.e. since the 1980s, it is about time something was done to bring this offering up to date. I wait with baited breath to see if this announcement heralds anything other than (exotic) tinkering round the edges and an excuse to introduce a whole new income stream for the new company. I hope it does, or I’m going to go blue in the face!

  2. “Avelo”????

    Don’t they make bicycles????

    (Why do companies keep falling for the Marketing Consultants stories? They spend years building brand recognition, then blow it, and a load of money, by calling themselves AVIVA or Snickers)

  3. Bicycle salesman 21st March 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Don’t people type their names into Google before relaunching?!

  4. pete wildebeast 21st March 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Marathons were changed to Snickers because they were called Snickers everywhere in the world apart from in the UK.

    Don’t understand Avelo though.

  5. It’s simple, modern, unpretentious and far les of a mouthful than the previous name.

    Good Choice.

  6. Unpretentious! Anonymous do you work for the branding agency?

    They are in dire need of a new name but to me this says nothing about their brand, their culture, what they stand for, what they do. It has all the hallmarks of the Royal Mail branding as Consignia and Prince renaming himself symbol. Looks to me like a clear case of people who do not understand what the business is, or perhaps I should say should be, able to do.

    This is a golden opportunity lost. It is a shame there are some good people at the business we are now being asked to call Avelo, they deserve better. I continue to have some reservations about the new senior management and this has not improved that impression. Whoever came up with this should be taken out and shot.

  7. Am I missing something….What’s wrong with The Exchange?

  8. Why? Oh yes marketing department needs to justify its existence.

  9. Another business forgetting its history and roots, forgetting about the Advisers who helped it get where is it now. All in all a bad nut.

  10. Avelo? On your bike!

  11. Interesting that the first thing some so called ‘contributors’ did was Google the name Avelo, doesnt that say it all? Technology hasmoved on. Whats your Brand name may I ask, John Smith and Sons! Get with the programme and embrace change. This business is the only one placed to serve our technology needs moving forward. Bold moves deserve applause. I look forward to working with Avelo.

  12. @ Ian McKenna

    Very insightful. It’s not as if having a name irrelevant to the industry has ever proven to be a success.

    Apple and Orange clearly missed that memo.

    Do enlighten us as to how you would have embraced this “golden opportunity”. Perhaps a swirly symbol & in amongst a few letters would have set your heart on fire.

    Change must be frightening for you. I’m sure you are still grieving over the type-writer and 19th Century capital punishments. When you’ve finished lamenting over the order of a few alphabet letters, see you in the 21st Century.

  13. Could some kind soul settle an argument in our office and enlighten us… how is avelo pronounced?

  14. I think it’s a …vel…o. Sounds a bit too like Aviva to me! As long as the systems work couldn’t care what they are called.

  15. Anonymous
    Your observations would carry more weight if you did not feel the need to hide behind anonymity. You do look increasingly looks like a desperate creative trying to justify their dire rebrand.

    Apple and Orange were at the time they adopted those names/brands entirely new businesses, by comparison 1st The Exchange N4 is a collection of complementary businesses, the strategies for which have in the past overlapped and conflicted. They do need a collective brand identity but it should mean something to the diverse customers of the different businesses and communicate the coming together of the different strands of the business. Just adopting a name which of their own admission means nothing to anyone suggests to me a lack of an integrated vision and direction.
    Having had the spin from their marketing department this afternoon explain the thinking, I was, quite literally laughing out loud. As a company they are doing some interesting things right now but from my perspective this re-brand is certainly not one of them, a view which seems shared by the majority who have commented here.

    As for your suggestion that I am frightened by change, you clearly don’t do your research before you engage your keyboard. You would not need to look too far, plenty of examples on this very website see Few people, if any, have been more of an advocate for change and the adoption of technology in the adviser market; however I believe in change that delivers value, not for its own sake. This suggests to me a creative team that did not spend enough time getting to understand the business and its customers, combined with a management that probably has its eyes on too many other things.

  16. The secret analyst 22nd March 2011 at 8:40 pm

    The typeface is appalling, and who is that scary USB cable man?

    Seriously dated looking re-brand – a bit embarassing really given the money it must have cost.

  17. I can’t understand why people feel the need or the right even to be so negative about some things. So what if they’ve called themselves Avelo, or if it is similar to Aviva. Is it really causing you great distress?

    Yahoo used to be called ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’. Were you moaning when they changed their name to Yahoo? Yes. Probably.

  18. At the end of the day is it not the quality of the products and service that they deliver that matter and the difference it makes to our industry?

    I am sure that the intention was to unify their offerings under one brand and their actions over the coming months will speak louder than simply the selection of a made up name.

    To me a brand is an identity, but what it means is determined by the experience of dealing the people.

  19. Honestly, what a lot of fuss. As anyone should know by now, the name is nothing in brand without the experience behind it.

    I would think amalgamating 4 brands into one whilst trying to keep some element of the original names is nigh on impossible, what would you have had? 1st Screen 4 Software? Exchange Software 4 Screens? Very catchy! All very easy to moan about it, a lot less easy to actually think of the solution.

    It’s what they do for their customers that counts, not what they are called.

  20. -N-4 -Ex-change -S-creen

  21. It really doesn’t matter what they call the business, until software providers understand that the nature of the business they purport to support is changing and change their offerings to suit, the users will get no real benefit.

    They need to move from software that is overly complex, difficult to learn and use and that adds no real value to the client proposition to technology that is service oriented, truly integrates with business-critical tools and allows advisers to spend less time typing and more time with clients.

    I dread to think what this re-brand has cost and can only imagine what benefits this could have brought to users if invested in developing new solutions for a post-RDR world.

    Modern CRM systems already exist which are lasers compared to the bows and arrows of current technology and surely someone must be working to harness this technology and adapting it for our business?

  22. Any cost of this rebrand will be absorbed by efficiencies it will enable (eg/ single phone team, less duplication of marketing material etc…).

    They were faced with merging on top of previous mergers and that can also cause confusions/divisions amongst staff which brand unification can alleviate.

    Avelo doesn’t stand for anything now, but is a blank page for them to build on. If they up their game over the next 24 months Avelo will become a much stronger identity than the sum of its parts.

    Remember, the logo is not the brand, it is merely a shorthand for how people perceive the company and its services.

    Only time will tell.

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