Financial History Issue 127 (Fall 2018) - Page 30

bought the New York firm of Robinson & Co., a descendant of the firm Fisk & Robinson and joined the New York Stock Exchange. According to The Los Angeles Times, it was “the first instance of a Pacific Coast house entering the New York mar- ket through the acquisition of the business of a New York Stock Exchange House.” Unfortunately, the expansion was orga- nized right before the Crash of 1929. It was also unsuccessful for management reasons and quickly became undone. In 1930, the firm’s floor member, James H. McGean, was suspended from the New York Stock Exchange for three years for “failing to exercise due diligence in prevent- ing improper transactions in the shares of the Manhattan Electrical Supply Company by a customer through one of the firm’s branch offices.” McGean was similarly sus- pended from the New York Curb Exchange. Emil Sutro, Gustav Sutro’s son, was also suspended for three months from associ- ate membership on the New York Curb Exchange. The eastern partners, most of whom had entered the firm through or after the Robinson & Co. acquisition, retired from the firm. Sutro & Co. also closed its Oakland office and coast branches, keeping only its Los Angeles and San Francisco offices. That year Charles Sutro also retired, and he died of a heart attack the following year. Charles Sutro was succeeded as senior partner by Sidney L. Schwartz, a Univer- sity of California, Berkeley graduate and California native who had joined the firm in 1906. The son of William Schwartz, a commission merchant and German immigrant, Schwartz was a nephew of Gustav S. Sutro’s daughter, Helen Sutro Schwartz, who married Samuel Schwartz, a merchant in the importer firm of Easton & Schwartz, in 1897. Samuel Schwartz became a partner in Sutro & Co in 1898. When the firm was reorganized in 1931, Sidney Schwartz led the firm with partners Gustav Sutro Schwartz, Allan Browning Lane, Arthur N. Selby, Emil Sutro, Frank F. Hargear, George M. Lowry, Randolph C. Walker, Howard Greene and Albert B. Sprott. Allan Browning Lane was the son-in-law of Alfred S. Gump, Sidney Schwartz’s uncle. (Gump had been a part- ner in S.&G. Gump Co., an art firm in San Francisco). Lane had formerly been a member of F.J. Lisman, a New York bond dealer, but he joined Sutro & Co. in New York after he married Gump’s daughter. In 1934, Lane and Walker tried “to Sutro Tunnel Company stock certificate, dated May 1872. overthrow the Schwartz management and install Hargear as the managing part- ner.” This move was unsuccessful, and Lane left the firm. His capital in the firm was replaced by several limited partners: Alfred F. Meyer, who later became a gen- eral partner; his brother, Julian J. Meyer, who later withdrew from the firm; and Alice Schwartz, Sidney Schwartz’s wife. Soon after, Emil Sutro, Albert Sprott and R.C. Walker also retired. Helen and Sam- uel Schwartz’s son, Gustav Sutro Schwartz, became ill and went to Tahiti to try to recover his health, but he passed away in 1935 at the age of 36. In the post-war period, as the older gen- eration of Sutro family partners continued to pass on, the firm added partners in part through the acquisition of other firms and expanded by developing new departments in the firm. In 1942, Sutro & Co. bought the San Jose firm of Buchanan & Co., and Herbert Buchanan, Carl Ellithrope and Ellithrope’s son-in-law, Harvey White, joined the firm. In 1949, Robert Harter, a vice president of First Boston Corpo- ration, became a partner of the firm in order to direct the underwriting depart- ment, which began to grow steadily in importance in the firm. In 1953, the firm opened a mutual fund department under the direction of John Hoyt. Four years later, the firm merged with the San Fran- cisco firm of Edwin D. Berl & Sons, and Edwin Berl, Warren Berl and John D. Berl joined as general partners. Throughout these changes, Sidney Schwartz remained 28    FINANCIAL HISTORY  |  Fall 2018  | www.MoAF.org the senior partner. In 1959, when Schwartz became a lim- ited partner and stepped down from active management, he was succeeded by Alaistair Cameron Hall, the first senior partner who was not related to the founders. Born in Scotland, Hall was educated in Edinburgh. Also known as “Shorty,” Hall had been the senior partner of A.C. Hall & Co., a firm based in the Philippines. Hall had moved to the Philippines from Scotland in 1924. He formed his firm in 1933 and also served as the president of the Manila Stock Exchange. During World War II, Hall was a pris- oner in the Santo Tomas prison camp. After the war, he returned to business and in 1951 founded Hall, Picornell, Ortigas & Co. in Manila, which became a Sutro & Co. correspondent. (Sutro & Co. had con- ducted business in the Philippines since 1912 when it participated in a syndicate that bought an estate on the Island of Luzon, where it built a sugar mill. The firm also had a correspondence office in Hawaii in 1892.) In 1953, Hall decided to leave the Philippines and settled in San Francisco. In 1954, Hall left retirement and became a Sutro & Co. partner. He naturalized as an American citizen the following year. Sutro & Co., Inc. (1970) In 1970, when Sutro & Co. announced that it was incorporating, Hall became chair- man of the board. Stating that the decision “was a question of growth and efficiency,” the firm announced, “The growth pattern