September 12, 2008 / 10:59 PM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX - A brief history of Lehman Brothers

Staff stand in a meeting room at Lehman Brothers offices in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London September 11, 2008. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

REUTERS - U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers has seen its shares shed three-quarters of their value this week as it announced a record $3.9 billion loss and a restructuring plan. The bank faces the prospect of being acquired by rivals, raising the specter of an end to its

158-year history.

Here is a brief history of the company:

1844

Henry Lehman, an immigrant from Germany, opens a small dry goods store in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1844.

1850

Henry is joined by brothers Emanuel and Mayer and they name the business Lehman Brothers.

1858

The Lehmans -- who take cotton from farmers to settle accounts and trade the cotton for money and merchandise -- open a New York office.

1860s

After the Civil War, they move to New York and establish the New York Cotton Exchange.

1887

Become members of the New York Stock Exchange

1889

Lehman underwrites its first public offering, for the International Steam Pump Company.

1929

The Lehman Corporation is created, a closed-end investment company.

1930s

Lehman underwrites the IPO of DuMont, the first television manufacturer.

1950s

Underwrites the IPOs of Digital Equipment and Hertz Rent-a-Car

1960

Opens a Paris office.

1962

With Salomon Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Blyth and Company,

Lehman forms an association nicknamed the “fearsome foursome”

that challenges the major firms for underwriting business.

1972

Becomes one of the first investment banks to open an office in London to take advantage of the booming bond market in Europe.

1975

Lehman acquires Abraham & Co.

1984

American Express acquires Lehman Brothers and merges it with Shearson.

1986

Seat on the London Stock Exchange

1988

Seat on the Tokyo Stock Exchange

1993

American Express divests Shearson, and the independent firm once again becomes known as Lehman Brothers.

1994

Lehman becomes independent through a public stock offering and Lehman Brothers Holding Inc common stock begins trading on the New York & Pacific stock exchanges.

1994

Richard Fuld Jr takes the top job at Lehman.

1998

Fuld fights off rumors that the near collapse of Long Term Capital Management had caused a cash crunch at Lehman.

1999

Lehman establishes an alliance with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi for Japanese mergers and acquisitions.

2001

Under pressure to cut costs, Fuld decides to pay staff less and in stock, rather than lay off employees.

2002

Lehman establishes its wealth and asset management division and acquires Lincoln Capital Management’s fixed income business.

2003

Lehman acquires Neuberger Berman and The Crossroads Group.

2007

Lehman posts record-high net revenues, net income and earnings per common share (diluted) for a fourth consecutive year and the highest volume of trade on the London Stock Exchange for a third year in a row.

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