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The most important issue generated by the Coopers & Lybrand/Price Waterhouse merger is, of course, what are they going to call themselves?

There is much speculation that the combined firm will adopt a moniker which is completely unrelated to the heritage of the partnerships.

Names mean a lot, though. Many years ago, Cooper Brothers started to feel a little squeamish about their address: Gutter Lane, London EC2.

The partners approached the City fathers to enquire whether they might entertain the notion of renaming the street Cooper Lane. The City fathers suggested the partners might like to be known as Gutter Brothers.

Of course, this story isn’t true (or is it?). But it gives us an idea: Coopers is based at No 1 Embankment Place. PW at No 1 London Bridge. The combined group will be the biggest bunch of beancounters on earth … (Better call themselves “Number Two”, now that KPMG-E&Y is on the scene. Still, at least maybe they’ll try harder – Ed.)

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