Murphey Favre Inc., a name with a history that dates back almost to the founding of Spokane, will disappear next month.
The broker-dealer for the Composite Group of Funds will become Washington Mutual Financial Services Inc.
The change, said Composite President William Papesh, was driven by last year’s purchase of American Savings Bank by Washington Mutual Savings Bank.
Washington Mutual bought Composite and Murphey Favre in 1982 in what was then an innovative move to bring a mutual fund group into a thrift.
A.M. Murphey founded his investment banking company in 1888. The firm became Murphey Favre in 1912, four years after Eugene Favre was hired.
The acquisition of American Savings will enable Washington Mutual Financial Services to expand the marketing of Composite’s eight funds into California, a market six times larger than Oregon and Washington combined, Papesh said.
In California, ASB Financial Services will distribute the funds. WM Financial Services will focus on other areas.
Papesh said the decision to apply the Washington Mutual name to the combined financial services unit was made because of the Seattle institution’s burgeoning size.
With American Savings, and the pending purchase of Great Western Financial Corp., Washington Mutual will become the nation’s largest thrift, he noted.
Although the Murphey Favre name will fade into history, Papesh said the reorganization will pay dividends to Spokane.
The number of financial consultants representing Composite funds will double with the addition of American Savings Bank’s 158 branches to the distribution channel.
As ASB expands the sale of Composite funds into California, there will be more work for Spokane workers who act as transfer agents and handle other administrative chores, he said.
Papesh said staff additions are likely, with the possibility more will flow from the consolidation with Great Western.