The Problem:

Communicating an entirely new way of investing
Crowded marketplace
Too many cooks in the kitchen


Often it feels like there are more wealth advisers than there are dollars to invest. They overwhelm us with boring names like Canterbury Consulting, Comprehensive Financial Management, and Innovest Portfolio Solutions – or worse, they’re identified with a hodgepodge of mostly-forgettable partners’ names like Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth. So when a team of experienced investors decided to start a new wealth management business, our task was to help them cut through the jargon.

The team was developing a hybrid between a family office and a traditional investment management firm. The founders came from some of the top wealth management companies in the country – they knew the landscape well and had strong opinions about striking the right tone with their new venture. Their prior successes gave us some clear boundaries because we couldn’t encroach on any of their previous firms’ names and we needed to be sensitive to the depth of their competition. Before we got involved, their team had repeatedly struggled to agree on a name for the new company, then – when they thought they had found a good compromise – would find out that there was no way they could trademark it.


Thankfully, they decided to give us a call as opposed to going with something like CanterComproVest & Foxworth. The team was excited and their energy was contagious. They brought us up to speed on their strategy for sophisticated planning, outlined their ideas for not trying to “beat the market,” and explained the ins and outs of direct access to private investments. While investors need big checkbooks to get involved, it isn’t close to the size necessary to play in the same markets with other firms.

We set to work making sure the name felt tonally at home in the industry, while carving out enough space for them to signal how they’re different. We discussed how names could be solid and timeless, and work for both internal and external audiences. Based on those discussions, we knew where we needed to go in order to sound fresh while not feeling like they don’t belong in the same universe as their competition.

The Fix:

Highlight guidance and vision
Find a name that speaks to multiple audiences
Help stakeholders come to a decision

We heard stories about the new company and their client base functioning as a community – sharing access to a unique world of investment opportunities. One piece that was incredibly important to them is the fact that the founders of this firm would invest side by side with their clients – making it clear that they firmly believe in what they’re offering. We presented a wide set of names: some focused on the specifics of their strategy, while others captured their personality and attitude about investing and growth. We also explored names that signalled the fact that clients and team members would be working closely together, offering guidance, and pursuing a long, steady journey.

Cresset emerged from the process as the best name for the company. A fairly unknown word, a Cresset is a container of fuel which is burned as a torch, a way to talk about guidance and illumination. The team of founders and partners love the name and how it speaks to their vision while feeling timeless – it feels as if they could have been founded 100 years ago. Cresset emerged from the process because everyone involved was thoughtful and thorough in their participation. Cresset champions the company’s values, while lighting the way for investors for years to come.

If you need a name for a finance company, check out our process.


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