Prudential Asia is rolling out the results of its rebranding exercise, and after extensive research has decided to drop the Prudential name in favour of ‘Eastspring Investments’.

The old name has been around for over a century but is being consigned to the dustbin in favour of this new name that, according to the firm, reflects its dynamic, expanding Asian business.

“But we’re still the Pru, and we’re still prudent and all that great stuff,” said Prudential Corporation chief executive Barry Stowe, speaking at a press conference.

“There’s two components to the name East and Spring. East means we are an Asian specialist and run Asian funds. In China, Spring has positive connotations for feng shui, like moving water and increasing wealth. In English, Spring reflects the nature of our business.”

The significance of the name change from the beginning of 2012 is that the names of the funds will be switched over, as will the names of its asset management businesses in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, UAE and Vietnam, although not to the joint venture businesses in China, India and Hong Kong.

What’s in a name? Prudential reckons that having a new name will allow it to penetrate Asian and European markets more efficiently, and enter the American market (using their existing name in the Americas wasn’t possible due to sharing the name with someone else) and grow its branded offshore product range. The firm currently manages about $80 billion in Asia.

Does this name change and cosmetic separation from the parent spell a possible spin-out of the Asian operations? Prudential isn't saying.