Hedge fund start-up – Name
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

As part of my standard start-up package I make allowance for a day's worth of my time for generating brand names. Out of ten days in total I recommend a maximum of two days for naming, considering that an extra day usually takes time away from the precious creative brand design stage and tends to delay the final deliverables. The design stage requires a minimum of six days exclusive of all the brand consulting and final artwork necessary to deliver the core components of a brand identity.

The start-up hedge fund identity I was commissioned to create needed a name and after a day's worth of my time generating names we settled on Asterisk. Quorus was a name I invented and was shortlisted (and chosen by my client) as a strong contender. I was extremely disappointed to discover that an existing fund was already using the name.

Asterisk is derived from the Greek word 'asterikos' which means little star. It's also a symbol for multiplication, represents the exponential and marks special top grade A (A*, A-star) as distinguished from grade A. A* was also a potential abbreviation for the fund. Asterisks are also generally used to mark out notable exceptions as per the visual from the presentation above. Click on the image above to go to the Asterisk case study were you can download the naming presentation should you want to look more closely at the format.

Asterisk is also particularly relevant to Forex as it is used to denote foreign goods. Our interpretation of this is that foreign currencies can also be considered as foreign goods. The 'foreign-ness' of the goods is not so important but the fact that the fund trades on the difference in the exchange value of foreign currencies. Asterisk also includes the word 'risk' which we thought was a strength because risk is an inherent part of investments. We believed that Asterisk could be treated in a manner that suggests it's a remarkable fund that manages risk exceptionally well.

The naming process I offer is purely generative and doesn't include existing usage or legal checks. It relies on the pursuit of original creative naming solutions, the idea that any suitable name can be owned in the manner in which it is treated and that naming choices should be viewed in terms of how much effort is likely to be required to assert ownership in a particular industry sector.