Smith Barney

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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Founded 1873
Products brokerage

Smith Barney was a brokerage company founded in 1873. In recent years, it has undergone several ownership and name changes, most recently having shared its name with joint venture partner Morgan Stanley. In September 2012, Morgan Stanley and parent company Citigroup officially retired the Smith Barney name, rebranding the unit as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.[1]

The company raised its public profile in the early 1980s, when it hired veteran actor John Houseman to deliver its trademark phrase "They make money the old fashioned way - they EARN it." [2]


The company was founded in Philadelphia in 1873 As Charles D. Barney & Co. Separately, Edward B. Smith, another Philadelphian, began his own investment banking firm in 1892. Each ran successful businesses until the Great Depression, when Smith's firm ran short of money. In 1938, the two merged to become Smith Barney.[3]

Smith Barney was purchased in June of 1987 by Primerica who, subsequent to the market crash of 1987, began losing money on the deal. In 1988, Primerica was purchased by Sandy Weill's Commercial Credit Group. In 1993, Primerica bought Shearson Lehman Brothers, and changed the name of the retail brokerage arm to Smith Barney Shearson. Later in 1993, Primerica bought Travelers Inc in 1993. The name of that company changed to Travelers Group in 1995. Travelers purchased Salomon Brothers in 1997, and in 1998, Citicorp and Travelers Group merged to form Citigroup, Inc..

In 2007 Citigroup separated the stock and investment banking structures within its corporation, and dropped the "Salomon" from the name of the division to reflect the pure stock brokerage capacity of what was called Citi Smith Barney. In 2009, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was created from a global merger of Citi Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley's wealth management business. [4]


Retail brokerage, investment banking, and wealth management services.