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FACTBOX - A brief history of Lehman Brothers
September 12, 2008 / 10:59 PM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX - A brief history of Lehman Brothers

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

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

158-year history.

Here is a brief history of the company:


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


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


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


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


Become members of the New York Stock Exchange


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


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


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


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


Opens a Paris office.


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.


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


Lehman acquires Abraham & Co.


American Express acquires Lehman Brothers and merges it with Shearson.


Seat on the London Stock Exchange


Seat on the Tokyo Stock Exchange


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


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


Richard Fuld Jr takes the top job at Lehman.


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


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


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


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


Lehman acquires Neuberger Berman and The Crossroads Group.


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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