May 11, 1998
Ms. Sandra M. Ng
Assistant General Counsel
Gruntal & Co, L.L.C.
Fourteen Wall Street
New York, N.Y. 10005
Dear Ms. Ng:
I am responding your letter of May 6, 1998, on behalf of Gruntal & Co., L.L.C. ("Gruntal"), concerning your proposal for the use of a modified corporate name by Gruntal on certain public communications. Based on your letter and our telephone conversations, I understand the facts to be as follows:
Gruntal proposes to use the name "Gruntal & Co." without the use of the corporate modifier "L.L.C." on certain materials used to communicate with the public, including letterhead, stationery, and business cards, as well as advertising and sales literature. The full legal name of the company would continue to be used on other communications, including account statements, and in all agreements with customers, business partners and vendors.
You indicate that "Gruntal" is a registered mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has been in use by the firm since January 1, 1880. You also indicate that Gruntal knows of no other member firm that is using another name that may be confusingly similar to "Gruntal & Co." such that the use of the corporate modifier would be necessary to distinguish the identity of another firm from that of Gruntal, and NASD Regulation staff has not identified another such firm. You state that you will provide to the staff an exemplar of the logo to be used at the time that a proof of the logo is complete.
Under the general standards set forth in NASD Rule 2210(f)(2), "[a]ny communication used in the promotion of a member's securities business must clearly and prominently set forth the name of the Association member." Under the circumstances as described in your letter and based on your representations, we believe that the use of the term "Gruntal & Co." would adequately denote the "name of the Association member" for purposes of this provision on the identified types of communications.
Please note that the opinions expressed herein are staff opinions only and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Board of Directors of NASD Regulation, Inc. This letter responds only to the issues that you have raised based on the facts as described, and does not address any other rule or interpretation of the Association, or all the possible regulatory and legal issues involved.
John M. Ramsay
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel