Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vintage Shearson Hammill, E.F. Hutton and Shearson Lehman Brothers Commercials From 1960 to 1990

This post is on the history of Lehman Brothers (☠), Smith Barney (now Morgan Stanley Smith Barney) and American Express. It feeds into my final post on the late 1980s/early 90s market instability.

According to Wikipedia, Shearson Hammill & Co. was a "Wall Street brokerage and investment banking firm founded in 1902." Through mergers and acquisitions it became Shearson Hayden Stone in 1973, Shearson Loeb Rhoades in 1979, and Shearson/American Express in 1981. But the party officially started in 1984 when Shearson/American Express acquired Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb (Lehman Bros and Kuhn Loeb merged in 1977) to form Shearson Lehman Brothers (Amex also bought IDS Financial Services in 1984, which is now Ameriprise).  In 1988, Shearson Lehman Brothers then acquired the distressed brokerage firm E.F. Hutton to form Shearson Lehman Hutton.

But, the tide changed in 1993 when American Express decided to dump all of these assets. According to Wikipedia, it first sold "Shearson," its "retail brokerage and asset management division" (which included E.F. Hutton), to Primerica, which eventually morphed into Smith Barney. And in 1994, American Express IPO'd its investment banking arm Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (see former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld's 1999 recruitment video) These investment banks, brokerage and investment advisory firms were being flipped like houses!

These trippy vintange commercials are a must see. I put them all in one playlist. According to Youtube, the Shearson Hammill commercial was from 1966 and the E.F. Hutton commercials were from the 1970s and 1980s. The last two commercials were for Shearson Lehman Brothers and Shearson Lehman Hutton in the late 1980s-1990. How trippy were these E.F. Hutton commercials from the 1970s? The firm was able to get J. Paul Getty, the founder of Getty Oil, to pump up the firm from his 'Sutton Place' mansion in 1972. Getty talked about his commercial appearance in his book. I also found E.F. Hutton commercials with Bill Cosby in the 1980s.


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