Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Can one institution really have played an indirect role in killing the country’s first Secretary of the Treasury, winning World War I, financing the largest firm in the world, contributing to the 2008 credit crisis, then helping avert an even worse financial disaster? Only on Wall Street.
The history of JPMorgan Chase spans more than 200 years and includes numerous firms who merged to form today’s banking behemoth.
We collected the most important events that tells the story of this legendary firm.
1799: New York Assemblyman Aaron Burr charters The Manhattan Company as a New York City water supplier.
1804: Disputes between Burr's firm and Alexander Hamilton's Bank of New York eventually led to the infamous duel that killed America's first Treasury secretary.
1871: Pierpont and Philadelphia banker Anthony Drexel found Drexel, Morgan & Co., mainly as a brokerage for Europeans investing in the U.S.
1877: Concurrently—John Thompson, a 75-year-old financial news publisher and banker, establishes Chase National Bank. He named it in honour of his friend Salmon P. Chase, former US Supreme Court Justice.
1920: An anarchist group claims responsibility for planting a bomb in front of J.P. Morgan & Co. headquarters that killed 38 and injured 400.
1935: Glass-Steagall Act forces J.P. Morgan & Co. to spin off its investment banking unit, which it calls Morgan Stanley. Henry S. Morgan, Pierpont's grandson, becomes CEO.
1991: Chemical Bank executes the then largest-ever merger for the banking industry, buying Manufacturers Hanover for $135 billion. It moves to Hanover's 270 Park Avenue offices, now J.P. Morgan & Co.'s world headquarters.
1961 — 1991: Dozens of mergers of regional banks occur that will set the stage for J.P. Morgan's marriage to Chase Manhattan.
1996: Chase Manhattan is purchased by Chemical Bank, but the name 'Chase Manhattan' is retained because it was more globally recognised.
1999: J.P. Morgan advises Exxon in the merger with Mobil that creates the largest company in the world. The company's ties to Exxon stretch all the way back to advising John D. Rockefeller.
2004: Chase buys Chicago-based Bank One and moves its retail operations to the Windy City, where they remain today.
2008: J.P. Morgan Chase acquires the assets of Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns amidst the credit meltdown.
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