Financial History Issue 125 (Spring 2018) - Page 35

was believed to represent the first between a private bank and a national bank . It also tied Blair & Co . to a long history of banking in California and Transamerica Corporation , which had been established in 1928 as a banking holding company by Amadeo Pietro / Peter Giannini and led by his son , Virgil David Giannini .
Born in San Jose , California , A . P . Giannini was the son of Italian immigrants from Genoa , Italy . Capitalizing on the outstanding economic growth of the state of California in the early 20th century , Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in 1904 , which grew into the third-largest American bank by 1927 . In 1928 , Giannini bought the controlling interest in the Bank of America , a descendant of the Second Bank of the United States ( founded in 1812 ). In 1930 , the Bank of Italy was formally merged into the Bank of America . That year , Walker became the chairman of the board of Transamerica and Hunter S . Marston , a Brown University graduate , succeeded Walker as president . Hunter ’ s father , Edgar Lewis Marston , was one of the original partners in Blair & Co . A native of Iowa and a graduate of La Grange College and Washington University Law School , Edgar L . Marston joined Blair & Co . in 1893 and died in 1935 . Hunter was born in St . Louis and joined the firm in 1908 after graduating from Brown University .
During the early years of the Great Depression , the value of Transamerica declined precipitously , and the firm entered a period of turmoil when Walker and Giannini engaged in a proxy war over the direction of the holding company . Walker lost to Giannini in 1932 , and he resigned from the firm as did Hunter Marston . After losing his fight with Giannini , Walker joined the firm Kuhn , Loeb & Co . ( founded in 1867 ). The Associated Press said it was known that Walker would land on his feet , but the announcement of a Kuhn , Loeb partnership “ caused mild surprise .” Kuhn , Loeb , which was founded in 1867 , had not admitted a non-family member until 1912 . It remained largely a family firm , but it was at a time of transition in its history and had lost several key partners in the early 1930s . Walker was seen as bringing “ new blood into the old firm ,” and he created his own
Blair & Co . building , erected in 1903 on the corner of Broad Street and Exchange Place , New York City . family legacy at Kuhn , Loeb . His son , Robert Elisha Walker , became a Kuhn , Loeb partner in 1949 .
Transamerica Corporation did not long stay the owner of the Blair firm . In 1938 , it sold its remaining interest in Bancamerica- Blair Corporation to Ashby Oliver Stewart , the former chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco . The son of a grocer , Stewart was a native of a Missouri and the former president of Golden Gate Ferries , Inc . and the Pacific Coast Mortgage Co . A former bank clerk , Stewart made his name in San Francisco real estate before branching out into mines and land banks . He was an associate of A . P . Giannini and sometimes rumored to be a “ Giannini frontman .” Time magazine referred to him as a “ West Coast Napoleon .” He became the chairman of the board of Bancamerica-Blair in 1938 .
Though under the new ownership , Bancamerica-Blair continued to be led by longterm members of the firm and its Salomon predecessor . In 1939 , Bancamerica-Blair stockholders also voted to restore the name of Blair & Co . That year , Hearn W . Streat was named vice chairman and John Rhea Montgomery was made president . Montgomery was a New Jersey native and the son of a lawyer . A graduate of Princeton University , Montgomery worked as a bond salesman at William Salomon & Co . before it merged with Blair & Co . Streat was a New York native . His father was a buildings material manufacturer . Streat joined Blair & Co . in 1899 . He started as a runner and worked his way up through the organization . Streat retired in 1941 and died in 1946 .
In 1950 , Blair & Co ., Inc . changed its name again when it merged with E . H . Rollins & Sons , a banking house founded by Edward Henry Rollins , who had been a US Senator from New Hampshire . The new firm became Blair & Co . -E . H . Rollins , Inc . Blair Holdings Corporation , the holding company that owned Blair & Co . -E . H . Rollins Inc ., also bought The First California Co ., which had been formed in 1945 out of the Bankamerica Co ., “ a wholly owned subsidiary of the Pacific Coast Mortgage Co .,” where A . O . Stewart had been chairman of the board . Virgil D . Dardi , the president of First California , became the chairman of the board and Warren H . Snow , the president of Rollins , became president of the newly-merged company .
In 1954 , Dardi left the firm and Blair & Co . -E . H . Rollins , Inc . again reverted to its original name , but by this time , the firm had begun to shift away from being led by long-time members of the original Blair and Salomon predecessors . In 1963 , Blair & Co ., Inc . merged with Granbery , Marache ( founded in 1948 ), and the leadership and name of the firm changed again . Oliver DeGray Vanderbilt III was named chairman of the board of the new firm called Blair & Co ., Granbery , Marache Inc . A New York native , Vanderbilt III was a St . Paul ’ s School and Princeton University graduate . His father worked for a manufacturer of railway parts and supplies . Vanderbilt III also worked in the railway supply business before becoming a trustee of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co . in 1956 . He had been with Blair & Co ., Inc . since 1957 .
In addition to Vanderbilt III , the new leadership of Blair & Co ., Granbery , Marache Inc . included Herbert W . Marache , who was named president and CEO . A native of Brooklyn , New York , and a graduate of Yale University , Marache was the son of a banker . His father had been a member of Blake Brothers & Co . ( founded in 1858 ). Marache ’ s former partner , E . Carleton Granbery , was a graduate of the Berkeley School ( NYC ) and Yale University . Granbery , who was the son of a broker , founded Granbery , Safford & Co . in 1935 . He merged the firm with Craigmyle , Marache & Co . ( founded in 1934 ) to form Granbery , Marache & Lord in 1937 . The firm was renamed Granbery , Marache & Co . in 1948 .
Before Granbery Marache ’ s merger with Blair & Co ., Granbery had retired in 1959 and become a special partner . He died in 1961 . Both Granbery ’ s and Marache ’ s sons , who were Yale graduates like their fathers , had joined the family firm . Granbery ’ s son , John Granbery , studied at the Hotchkiss School and graduated from Yale University in 1934 . Marache ’ s son , Herbert W . Marache , Jr ., studied at St . Paul ’ s ( NH ) and graduated from Yale University in 1950 . Despite the engagement of the founders ’ families into the second generation , the leadership of the firm eventually passed to William M . Lendman , a New Jersey native , who had been in charge of Granbery ’ s sales department .
The elevation of Lendman to the leadership of the firm appears to be tied to the combined involvement of investors Robert K . Lifton and Jay Pritzker , who along with other associates were approached by Martin Whitman , an investment adviser
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was believed to represent the first between a private bank and a national bank. It also tied Blair & Co. to a long history of banking in California and Transamerica Corporation, which had been established in 1928 as a banking holding company by Amadeo Pietro/Peter Giannini and led by his son, Virgil David Giannini. Born in San Jose, California, A.P. Giannini was the son of Italian immi- grants from Genoa, Italy. Capitalizing on the outstanding economic growth of the state of California in the early 20th cen- tury, Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in 1904, which grew into the third-largest American bank by 1927. In 1928, Giannini bought the controlling interest in the Bank of America, a descendant of the Second Bank of the United States (founded in 1812). In 1930, the Bank of Italy was for- mally merged into the Bank of America. That year, Walker became the chairman of the board of Transamerica and Hunter S. Marston, a Brown University graduate, succeeded Walker as president. Hunter’s father, Edgar Lewis Marston, was one of the original partners in Blair & Co. A native of Iowa and a graduate of La Grange College and Washington University Law School, Edgar L. Marston joined Blair & Co. in 1893 and died in 1935. Hunter was born in St. Louis and joined the firm in 1908 after graduating from Brown University. During the early years of the Great Depression, the value of Transamerica declined precipitously, and the firm entered a period of turmoil when Walker and Giannini engaged in a proxy war over the direction of the holding company. Walker lost to Giannini in 1932, and he resigned from the firm as did Hunter Marston. After losing his fight with Giannini, Walker joined the firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co. (founded in 1867). The Associated Press said it was known that Walker would land on his feet, but the announcement of a Kuhn, Loeb partnership “caused mild surprise.” Kuhn, Loeb, which was founded in 1867, had not admitted a non-family member until 1912. It remained largely a family firm, but it was at a time of transition in its history and had lost several key partners in the early 1930s. Walker was seen as bringing “new blood into the old firm,” and he created his own Blair & Co. building, erected in 1903 on the corner of Broad Street and Exchange Place, New York City. family legacy at Kuhn, Loeb. His son, Rob- ert Elisha Walker, became a Kuhn, Loeb partner in 1949. Transamerica Corporation did not long stay the owner of the Blair firm. In 1938, it sold its remaining interest in Bancamerica- Blair Corporation to Ashby Oliver Stewart, the former chairman of the board of the Federal Res W'fR&b6g&666FR6bw&6W"7FWv'Bv2FfPb֗76W&BFRf&W"&W6FVB`vFVvFRfW'&W22BFR6f067B'FvvR6f&W"&6W&7FWv'BFR2R6g&666&VW7FFR&Vf&R'&6rWBF֖W0BB&2Rv2766FR`vB6WFW2'V&VBF&R( vg&F( FRvP&VfW'&VBF2( vW7B67BЦV( R&V6RFR6&bFP&&Bb&6W&6&"3FVvVFW"FRWrvW'6&Ц6W&6&"6FVVBF&RVB'rЧFW&V&W'2bFRf&BG26&VFV6W76"3&6W&6& 7F6FW'26fFVBF&W7F&RFRPb&"b6FBV"V&r7G&V@v2VBf6R6&B&VFvW'v2FR&W6FVBBЦvW'v2WrW'6WFfRBFP6bwW"w&GVFRb&6WFVfW'6GFvW'v&VB2&@6W6BvƖ6b6&Vf&PBW&vVBvF&"b67G&VBv2Wp&FfR2fFW"v2'VFw0FW&Vf7GW&W"7G&VBVB& b6R7F'FVB2'VW"@v&VB2vWF&VvFR&v旦ЧF7G&VB&WF&VBCBFVBCbखS&"b626vVBG0RvvVBW&vVBvFR&ЦƖ2b62&涖rW6RfVFVB'VGv&BV'&Ɩ2vB&VVU06VF"g&Wr6&RFRWpf&&V6R&"b6R&Ɩ22&"Fw26'&FFRFp6FBvVB&"b6R&ЦƖ226&VvBFRf'7B6Ɩf&6v6B&VVf&VBCRW@bFR&W&66( vǒvV@7V'6F'bFR6f267B'FvvP6( vW&R7FWv'BB&VV6"ЦbFR&&Bf&vBF&FFP&W6FVBbf'7B6Ɩf&&V6RFP6&bFR&&BBv'&V6rFR&W6FVBb&Ɩ2&V6P&W6FVBbFRWvǒW&vVB6खSBF&FVgBFRf&B&"`6R&Ɩ22v&WfW'FVBFG0&vR'WB'F2FRFRf&ЦB&VwVF6gBvg&&VrVB'rFRV&W'2bFR&v& B6&VFV6W76'2c2&"`62W&vVBvFw&&W'&6PfVFVBCBFRVFW'6@RbFRf&6vVBvƗfW FTw&fFW&&Bv2VB6"ЦbFR&&BbFRWrf&6V@&"b6w&&W'&6R2Wp&FfRfFW&&Bv27BV( 066B&6WFVfW'6Gw&GVFRआ2fFW"v&VBf"Vf7GW&W"`&v'G2B7WƖW2fFW&&B6v&VBFR&v7Wǒ'W6ЦW72&Vf&R&V6֖rG'W7FVRbFRVWGVƖfR7W&6R6SbR@&VVvF&"b6266RSrखFFFFfFW&&BFPWrVFW'6b&"b6w&Ц&W'&6R26VFVBW&&W'@r&6Rvv2VB&W6FV@B4TFfRb'&ǖWp&Bw&GVFRbRVfW'6G&6Rv2FR6b&W"0fFW"B&VVV&W"b&R'&FЦW'2b6fVFVBS&6^( 0f&W"'FW"R6&WFw&&W'v0w&GVFRbFR&W&VW662BRVfW'6Gw&&W'vv0FR6b'&W"fVFVBw&&W'6ff&Bb63RRW&vVBFRf&ЧvF7&vזR&6Rb6fVFV@3BFf&w&&W'&6R`&B3rFRf&v2&VVBw&Ц&W'&6Rb6C&Vf&Rw&&W'&6^( 2W&vW"vF&"b6w&&W'B&WF&VBSB&V6R7V6'FW"RFVBc&Fw&&W'( 2B&6^( 262vvW&RRw&GVFW2ƖRFV"fFW'2BVBFRf֖ǒf&w&&W'( 06w&&W'7GVFVBBFRF6Ц7266Bw&GVFVBg&RVЧfW'6G3B&6^( 26W&&W'@r&6R"7GVFVBB7BV( 0䂒Bw&GVFVBg&RVfW'6GSFW7FRFRVvvVVBbFPfVFW'>( f֖ƖW2FFR6V6BvVW&ЧFFRVFW'6bFRf&WfVGVǐ76VBFvƖVFWpW'6WFfRvB&VV6&vR`w&&W'( 26W2FW'FVBFRVWfFbVFFFRVFW"Ч6bFRf&V'2F&RFVBFFP6&VBffVVBbfW7F'2&"ЦW'BƖgFB&GW"vpvFFW"766FW2vW&R&6VB''FvFfW7FVBGf6W wwrb&~("("7&r#("("d45D%(>(#30