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Why Wright Express Changed Its Name to WEX

The two primary factors prompting the name change were the diversification of its product lines and the international expansion of its business. WEX provides services in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia.

December 2012, by Mike Antich - Also by this author

The new WEX logo.
The new WEX logo.

Wright Express Corp. changed its name to WEX Inc. on Oct. 25, 2012. The company’s operations are organized into two segments: Fleet and other payment solutions. WEX said the new name reflects its transformation and growth strategies, focused on physical, digital, and virtual corporate card payment solutions for businesses internationally.

Headquartered in South Portland, Maine, WEX provides services in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia. In addition, it operates a wholly owned banking subsidiary, WEX Bank. Since its beginnings as a fleet card provider in 1983 and its initial public offering in 2005, WEX now has more than 350,000 customers, representing more than 6.5 million cardholders. In 2011, its revenues were $553 million.

To learn more about the name change, AF interviewed Michael Dubyak, chairman, president, and CEO of WEX. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

AF: How did the name Wright Express originate?

DUBYAK: That’s a good question and also the reason why we’re located in South Portland. The company was founded in 1895 as a family business called A.R. Wright, which was primarily in the coal and heating oil businesses. 

In the early 1980s, one of the family members developed the concept of unattended fueling, which caused the name to change from the A.R. Wright Co. to Wright Express in 1983. The Wright family sold its shares in 1990, and is no longer involved in the business.

AF: What were the primary reasons for the name change?

DUBYAK: The two driving factors prompting the name change were the diversification of our product lines and the expansion of our business internationally. Wherever the Wright Express name is used today, it will be phased out and transitioned to WEX.

AF: What percentage of your business is fleet? What percentage is non-fleet?

DUBYAK: Seventy-four percent of our business is fleet and the non-fleet business is 26 percent, which are payment solutions, mainly in travel or paycard segments.

AF: Could you describe the new logo?

DUBYAK: The logo embodies the WEX name on a tilted card, which gets to our tagline: “We see corporate payments differently.” There is a precision point on the “E” (in the WEX name), positioning us as a company that drives great value for its partners and customers with our precision, value-based products and services.

AF: Is there a key message you want to convey to commercial and government fleets about the name change?

DUBYAK: Our key strategy is to remain a leader in the Americas’ fleet business for commercial and government vehicles, and we’re looking to expand internationally in a very targeted and measured way. The majority of our business will continue to be on the fleet side and we’re making sizeable investments in that business. There will be no let up or pullback in our commitment to our fleet strategy. We’re also fuel “agnostic” and support all fuels.

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