Leesport Bank Unites Divisions Under ‘VIST Financial’

Leesport Bank will be integrating seven separate business divisions under one new name, ‘VIST Financial”:

  • Leesport Bank
  • Madison Bank
  • Essick & Barr
  • The Boothby Group
  • Madison Insurance Consultants
  • Madison Financial Advisors
  • Philadelphia Financial Mortgage

Robert Davis, President/CEO, said this confederation of companies will now be united under a single brand, effective March 3. Each business division will be rebranded under the VIST parent brand, using such names as ‘VIST Bank,’ ‘VIST Insurance’ and ‘VIST Capital Management.’

Even thought the firm had been focused on building a unified internal brand, customers struggled to see so many separate identities as a united company.

The company also expressed concerns that the Leesport name created geographical constraints.

“There is a trend to define a company in a way that has no restrictive geographical or other associations.”
– Robert Davis, President/CEO

“Nothing could have been worse than just come in and arbitrarily change the name,” Davis said. “We’ve been very deliberate in saying, ‘Let’s come together as one company before we even dare to present or rebrand ourselves under one name.’”

The new name is an acronym spelled from the words Vision, Integrity, Solutions and Trust.

On the company’s website, the only information available about the name change was a 5-minute long video. The video was professionally written and produced specifically for staff, but was apparently deemed acceptable for public consumption.

The video explains – in great detail – the rationale behind each word in the VIST name. Four different spokespeople take turns, each explaining a different letter in the name:

  • Vision – Al Weber, Leesport Chairman
  • Integrity – Christy Glass, Leesport HR Manager
  • Solutions – Gregg Shemanski, Business Banking Customer
  • Trust – Christian Leinbach, Leesport Personal Banking Customer

Bob Davis, Leesport President & CEO, recaps the acronym again at the end. (Full script at the end of this article.)

Reality Check: How many people really want to watch a 5-minute corporate video?

The company applied for federal trademark registration for the name ‘VIST’ with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office back in November 2007. The application was filed in International Class 036 under financial services.

There are federal trademarks for ‘VIST’ under IC 009 for medical software and IC 025 and 028 for ski equipment and apparel. These should not represent any legal threats to VIST Financial’s trademark status.

Both vistfinancial.com and vistbank.com are currently being cybersquatted, so it is unclear which URL the freshly consolidated financial institution will use.

The firm’s ticker symbol on the Nasdaq Stock Market also will change from ‘FLPB’ to ‘VIST.

Analysis: ‘VIST’ is a simple, unique name. It’s good to have a story behind it, but the principles driving the name – vision, integrity, solutions and trust – aren’t the most unique corporate values in the financial industry. Even though the video did an extremely thorough job explaining the new name’s rationale, it would have nice if there was a little more information available on the company’s website (starting with FAQs).

Visually, the name VIST could be confused with lookalike words like “VISTA.”

It makes sense to consolidate all these separate business units under one brand. Not only is it much easier and cheaper to manage one brand instead of seven, the single VIST name will almost certainly yield higher awareness and recognition.

Bottom Line: Bigger brand bang for the buck.

VIST “Four Pillars of Success” Video Script

Announcer: We are Vision.

Al Weber, Chairman, Leesport: Vision unifies. Vision inspires. Vision anticipates the future and respects the past. Vision is a clear focus that dictates actions, beliefs, values and goals for an organiztion. Vision achieves extraordinary results.

We’ve worked hard to bring our companies together for a single vision of the future. That vision is to be a trusted financial advisor and partner with our customers, to provide for all their financial needs no matter where they are in life.

In order for us to achieve the extraordinary, we must all be leaders and become an active part of our vision. Vision has been, and will continue to be the driving force of our growth.

And a pillar to our success.

Announcer: We are Integrity.

Christy Glass, Human Resources Manager: Integrity is not measured by heroic acts, but by our efforts at the ordinary things that we do. Integrity is what you demonstrate every day. Every time you go the extra mile to do what’s right for our customers, everywhere that you support our communities’ just calling. Everything that you do that allows us to perform at the highest standards in the industry…your integrity shines through.

You understand that for our customers to have peace of mind, the must be able to believe in us. Employees with integrity: it’s what started this company almost 100 years ago. It’s what has brought us to this exciting point in history. And it is this integrity that will strengthen us, and propel us to our next milestone.

Integrity is a pillar to our success.

Announcer: We are Solutions.

Gregg Shemanski, Business Banking Customer: In my business, companies look to me to provide solutions that best suit their individual material processing needs. Since I began, Leesport Financial has been providing the solutions that enable me to serve these customers. Your solutions help me grow and protect my business, take care of my employees and their families, and secure my future.

From banking and insurance, to employee benefits and wealth management, I know there is one place where I can get all the solutions I need – from people I can trust. That place is Leesport. Those people are you. You realize that typical solutions aren’t always the answer – nor do they have to be. The solutions you provide have helped us emerge as one of the fastest growing companies in the area. We would truly not be where we are without you.

Solutions are a pillar of success…for you, and for me.

Announcer: We are Trust.

Christian Leinbach, Personal Banking Customer: When you trust a bank with your money, you expect them to look out for you. But in today’s banking world, this is not always the case. For 20 years, my wife and I banked with another institution, but when we built our new home five years ago, we got a mortgage and opened up a secondary checking account with Leesport Bank.

We didn’t think much about trust until I got a call that I’d overdrawn the account. It was a courtesy call, and the check was covered, and I wasn’t charged. We were amazed. After that, we moved all of our accounts to Leesport Bank. Since then, you’ve provided support for everything from a home equity loan to solving a problem on a Saturday afternoon.

Trust is something that is earned. You have definitely earned ours.

Trust is a pillar of your success.

Bob Davis, President & CEO, Leesport Financial: Vision. Integrity. Solutions. Trust. That is what we are. In reality, that is what we’ve always been. We are the same people with the vision to bring together the services provided by Leesport and Madison Banks: The Boothby Group, Essick & Barr, Madison Insurance Consultants, Philadelphia Financial Mortgage and Madison Financial Advisors…under one company.

We are the people whose integrity has made our growth so successful. We are the people who have provided the solutions to the financial needs of our customers for almost a century. The people our customers trust with their financial well-being.

We are the people who have taken on the challenge of moving on from a good company to a great one… who have take on the task of creating one company with a singular vision to become a trusted financial advisor to our customers and to provide them with every financial solution we offer.

And most importantly, we are the same people who have brought us to this momentous time in the history of our company. The same people who will see us through to our exciting future. With vision, with integrity, with solutions and trust.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are the new VIST Financial.

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