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BOSTON-Effective immediately, First Union Real Estate Equity and Mortgage Investments has changed its name to Winthrop Realty Trust, and its operating arm, First Union REIT LP, changed its name to WRT Realty LP. The locally based REIT will continue to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol FUR.

The name, Winthrop, is taken from locally based Winthrop Financial Associates, which is the company’s “external advisory,” Carolyn Tiffany, COO of Winthrop Realty Trust, tells GlobeSt.com. Winthrop Realty Trust is an UpREIT, she explains, which conducts its business through WRT Realty, which is a REIT.

“The change in our name both enables us to more closely identify with our management team and the investment philosophy we have developed at Winthrop over the past nine years and eliminate the continuing confusion engendered by the similarity between the trust’s former name and that of the former First Union bank,” says Michael L. Ashner, chairman and CEO, in a statement.

“First Union bank is and always was a completely unrelated company,” Tiffany says. “Yet, there has been some confusion,” which lingered even after First Union bank was acquired by Wachovia.

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