Beautifully engraved certificate from the Lehman Brothers One William Street Fund
issued in 1960's. This historic document was printed by the Security Columbian Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the Lehman Brothers Headquarters (at the time) in New York city. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary and is over 50 years old.
Lehman Brothers Certificate Vignette
Lehman Brothers One William Street Fund was launched in June of 1958. At the time of the offering it was the largest initial financing ever made by an investment company. The fund raised over $183,070,380 for 15,833,114 shares of Lehman's new One William Street Fund, Inc. At the time of the offering, Lehman originally planned to sell only 3,000,000 shares.
The fund was named after the company's headquarters address at One William Street. One William Street is an office building located in New York City. The building, completed in 1907, was built for J & W Seligman, an investment bank. In 1928, the building was acquired by Lehman Brothers which remained headquartered there until 1980. The building is presently owned by Banca Intesa, one of Italy's largest banks. In 1996, the building was designated as a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Type Public (NYSE: LEH)
Founded Montgomery, Alabama (1850)
Headquarters New York City
Industry Investment services
Products Financial Services
Revenue $32.420 billionUSD (2005)
Net income $3.36 Billion USD (2005)
Employees 23,000 (2006)
Slogan Where Vision Gets Built
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LEH), founded in 1850, is a diversified, global financial services firm. It is a participant in investment banking, equity and fixed income sales, research and trading, investment management, private equity, and private banking. It is a primary dealer in the U.S. Treasury securities market. Its primary subsidiaries include: Lehman Brothers Inc., Neuberger Berman Inc., Aurora Loan Services, Inc., SIB Mortgage Corporation, Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB, BNC Mortgage, Inc., and the Crossroads Group. The Firm's worldwide headquarters are in New York City, with regional headquarters in London and Tokyo and offices throughout the world.
Under the Lehman Family, 1850-1969
In 1844, twenty-three year old Henry Lehman emigrated from Rimpar, Germany to the United States, settling in Montgomery, Alabama, where he opened a dry goods store, simply titled "H. Lehman". Following Henry to the United States were brothers Emanuel in 1847 and Meyer, youngest of the three brothers, in 1850. In the 1850's Southern United States, "cotton was king"; one of the most important, if not the most, important crops in the country and before long the three brothers were routinely accepting raw cotton from customers as payment for merchandise. Before long they developed a successful second business trading in cotton, that within a few years grew to become the most significant part of their operation. Following Henry's untimely death from yellow fever in 1855, the remaining brothers continued to focus on their commodities trading and brokerage operations.
By 1858, as the brothers witnessed the shift in cotton's center from the South to New York City, where factors and commission houses were based, Lehman Brothers opened its first branch office there, at 119 Liberty Street. Thirty-two year old Emanuel relocated to New York to run the office. In 1862, they teamed up with a prosperous cotton merchant named John Durr to form Lehman, Durr & Co. Following the American Civil War, the company helped finance Alabama's reconstruction. Soon, the Lehmans moved their headquarters to New York City where they helped found the New York Cotton Exchange in 1870; Emanuel would sit on the Board of Governors without interruption until 1884. The Firm also dealt in the emerging market for railroad bonds, and entered the financial advisory business.
Lehman Brothers became members of the Coffee Exchange as early as 1883 and finally the New York Stock Exchange in 1887. The firm also began to develop international interests in Europe and Japan, as well as expertise in merchant banking. In 1899 they underwrote their first public offering, the preferred and common stock of the International Steam Pump Company.
Despite the 1899 offering of International Steam, the Firm's real shift from being a commodities house to a house of issue did not begin until 1906. The Firm was among the first to recognize the potential of issuing stock as a way for companies to raise capital, in contrast to the issuance of debt, which had historically been the method. In that year, under the guidance of Philip Lehman, the Firm partnered with Goldman, Sachs & Co., to bring the General Cigar Co. to market, followed closely by Sears, Roebuck & Company. During the following two decades, almost one hundred new issues were underwritten by Lehman Brothers, many times in conjunction with Goldman, Sachs. Among these were F.W. Woolworth Company, May Department Stores Company, Gimbel Brothers, Inc., R.H. Macy & Company, The Studebaker Corporation, The B.F. Goodrich Co. and Endicott Johnson Corporation
Following Philip Lehman's retirement in 1925, his son Robert "Bobbie" Lehman took over as head of the firm. Under his leadership, Lehman Brothers' rise to pre-eminence among New York investment firms began. The company weathered the capital crisis of the Great Depression by focusing on helping private funders and companies connect, while the equities market recovered. This was the foundation of today's venture capital industry. By 1928, the Firm had outgrown its premises in the Farmers Loan & Trust Building and moved to its now famous One William Street location.
In 1929, the Firm created the Lehman Corporation, an investment company, wholly separate from Lehman Brothers, but with many common officers and directors. Years later, the Firm would characterize its first foray into asset management, via the Lehman Corporation, as "the most important single chapter in its history".
In the 1930s, Lehman Brothers underwrote the initial public offering (IPO) of the first television manufacturer, DuMont and helped fund the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). They also helped found the emerging oil industry, including the companies Halliburton and Kerr-McGee. In the 1950s, Lehman Brothers underwrote the IPO of Digital Equipment Corporation. Later, they would arrange the acquisition of Digital by Compaq.
Robert Lehman also recognized that in order for the Firm to prosper and grow, it needed to look beyond family members as potential partners and look to the outside world. With that revelation, in 1924, John M. Hancock became the first non-family member to become a partner, followed by Monroe C. Gutman and Paul Mazur in 1927.
Robert Lehman died in 1969 and since that time, no member of the Lehman family has led the company. Robert's death left a void in the company, which coupled with a difficult economic environment, brought hard times to the Firm. In 1973, Pete Peterson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Bell & Howell Corporation, was brought in to save the Firm.
Under Peterson's leadership as Chairman and CEO, the Firm acquired Abraham & Co. in 1975, and two years later merged with the venerable, but struggling, Kuhn, Loeb & Co., to form Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc. Peterson led the Firm from significant operating losses to five consecutive years of record profits with a return on equity among the highest in the investment banking industry.
Notwithstanding the Firm's success, hostilities between the Firm's investment bankers and traders (who were driving most of the Firm's profits) was becoming palpable. In response, in May 1983, Peterson promoted Lewis Glucksman, the Firm's President, COO and former trader, to be his co-CEO. Glucksman introduced changes in personnel, and in the determination of bonuses and partnership interests. These measures had the effect of increasing tensions, which when coupled with Glucksman’s management style and a downturn in the markets, created a bitter struggle for power in which Glucksman prevailed and Peterson was ousted, leaving Glucksman as the sole CEO.
Upset bankers, who had soured over the power struggle, left the company. Steve Schwarzman, chairman of the firm's M&A committee, recalled in a February 2003 interview with Private Equity International that "Lehman Brothers had an extremely competitive internal environment, which ultimately became dysfunctional." The company suffered under the disintegration, and Glucksman was pressured into selling the Firm to American Express in 1984, for $360 million. On May 11, the combined firms became Shearson Lehman/American Express. In 1988, Shearson Lehman/American Express and E.F. Hutton & Co. merged as Shearson Lehman Hutton Inc.
In 1993, under newly appointed CEO, Harvey Golub, American Express began to divest itself of its banking and brokerage operations. It sold its retail brokerage and asset management operations to Primerica and in 1994 it spun off Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb in an initial public offering, as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's. common stock commenced trading on the New York & Pacific stock exchanges, under the ticker symbol "LEH".
Following their 1994 IPO, the company was repeatedly subject to rumors that it would be acquired; rumors the company regularly denied. Indeed, under the leadership of the Firm's CEO, Richard S. Fuld, Jr., the firm has prospered, growing well beyond its initial strength in fixed income trading and research.
On September 11, 2001, Lehman Brothers occupied three floors of 1 WTC where one employee was killed. Its global headquarters in Three World Financial Center were severely damaged and rendered unusable by falling debris, displacing over 6,500 employees. The bank recovered quickly and rebuilt its presence. Trading operations moved across the Hudson River to its Jersey City facilities, where an impromptu trading floor was built and brought online less than forty-eight hours after the attacks. When markets reopened on September 17, 2001, Lehman Brothers' sales and trading capabilities were restored.
In the ensuing months, Lehman Brothers fanned out its operations across the New York City metropolitan area in over forty temporary locations. Notably, the investment banking division converted the first floor lounges, restaurants, and all 665 guestrooms of the Sheraton Manhattan Hotel into office space. The bank also experimented with flextime (to share office space) and telecommuting via virtual private networking. In October of 2001, Lehman Brothers purchased a just-built 32-story facility from rival Morgan Stanley for a reported sum of $700 million. Morgan Stanley's world headquarters was located two blocks away at 1585 Broadway, and in the wake of the attacks, was re-evaluating its office plans which would have put over 10,000 employees in the Times Square area. Lehman Brothers began moving into the new facility in January and concluded in March 2002, a move that significantly boosted morale throughout the firm.
Lehman Brothers was criticized for not moving back to its former headquarters in lower Manhattan. Following the attacks, only Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Merrill Lynch remained in the area. The firm, however, points to the fact that it was committed to remaining in New York City, that the new headquarters presented an ideal circumstance where Lehman Brothers was desperate to buy and Morgan Stanley was desperate to sell, that when the new building was purchased, the structural integrity of Three World Financial Center had not yet been given a clean bill of health, and that in any case, the company could not have waited until May 2002 for repairs to Three World Financial Center to conclude.
After the attacks, Lehman Brothers' management placed increased emphasis on business continuity planning. Unlike its rivals, Lehman Brothers was unusually concentrated for a bulge bracket investment bank. For example, Morgan Stanley maintains a 750,000-square foot trading and banking facility in Westchester County, NY. The trading floor of UBS is located in Stamford, CT. Merrill Lynch's asset management division is located in Plainsboro, NJ. Aside from its headquarters in Three World Financial Center, Lehman Brothers maintained operations and backoffice facilities in Jersey City, space that the firm considered leaving prior to 9/11. The space was not only retained, but expanded, including the construction of backup trading facility. In addition, telecommuting technology first rolled out in the days following the attacks to allow employees to work from home has been expanded and enhanced for general use throughout the firm.
In 2003, Lehman Brothers was one of ten firms which simultaneously entered into a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Office of the New York State Attorney General and various other securities regulators, regarding undue influence over the each firms research analysts by their investment banking divisions. Specifically, regulators alleged that the firms had: improperly associated analyst compensation with the firms' investment banking revenues; and, promised favorable, market-moving, research coverage, in exchange for underwriting opportunities. The settlement, known as the “global settlement”, provided for total financial penalties of $1.4 billion, including $80 million against Lehman Brothers, and structural reforms, including, a complete separation of investment banking departments from research departments, no analyst compensation, directly or indirectly, from investment banking revenues, and the provision of free, independent, third-party, research to the firms' clients.
Lehman filed for bankruptcy in September 2008.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com.