Updated Wednesday, July 23, 2014 as of 7:54 AM ET
Blogs - The Smart Advisor
Goodbye Smith Barney
ON WALL STREET
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Print
Email
Reprints

It's officially the end of the line for the Smith Barney name. Of course, it was fully expected with news reports going back several months of the name change, which became official today.

Firms come and go but there has to be a bit of nostalgia for Smith Barney. Who (if they are old enough) doesn't remember the old advertising campaign from the late 1970s/early 1980s with the late actor John Houseman with his bowtie and patrician delivery, saying: "They make money the old fashioned way: They earn it."

But Wall Street brokerage firms also evolve. And Smith Barney is no exception. Its beginnings came from the very kind of deal that has led to its name being retired. In 1938, the modern Smith Barney was born, following the merger of two brokerage firms founded by fellow Philadelphians, Charles D. Barney and Edward B. Smith.

Through the years, Smith Barney has been both predator and prey in the acquisition business. It snatched up Harris, Upham & Co. in 1975 to become Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., according to Funding Universe. It was later sold to Primerica Corp. in 1987 which was acquired by firm run by Sanford "Sandy" Weill, who later merged Smith Barney's parent (which was Travelers) with Citicorp. The resulting firm, Citigroup, proved to be the penultimate stop for the Smith Barney name.

After its relatively short run with Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney joins the ranks of other firm names that have gone by the wayside: Paine Webber, E.F. Hutton, Salomon Brothers and so many others. I wonder how many financial advisors who have come up the Smith Barney ranks are proudly recalling that name today?

Comment
Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.
Post a Comment
You must be registered to post a comment.
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.
Lists
2014 Summer Reading List for Advisors

Current Issue

The June Issue is now online!


TWITTER
FACEBOOK
LINKEDIN

Industry Events

August 10, 2014 |

September 9, 2014 |

September 17, 2014 |

September 20, 2014 |

September 28, 2014 |

Already a subscriber? Log in here