Our global firm and history
At J.P. Morgan, we have been helping our clients do business for more than 200 years. From our earliest predecessors to the present, we have contributed to business, society and world affairs. We continue to take a long-term approach to client solutions – providing clients with “first-class business in a first-class way.”
Our roots stretch back to 1799, with the creation of the Bank of the Manhattan Company. J.P. Morgan & Co. was founded in New York in 1871 as Drexel, Morgan & Co. by Philadelphia banker Anthony Drexel and J. Pierpont Morgan, a historical figure in business.
We’ve never been a purely U.S. bank, either. Our origins in Europe go back to 1838 and we’ve been in Asia since 1872.
In 1901 we created the world’s first billion-dollar corporation. In 1907 we saved several trust companies and a leading brokerage house from insolvency, bailed out New York City and rescued the New York Stock Exchange.
A history of innovation
Our entrepreneurial innovation continues to drive our business. Take “relationship banking,” for example. Today, it’s a phrase that’s widely used. But when J. Pierpont Morgan first uttered it, it was nothing short of revolutionary. The means may have changed, but it’s a principle that still underpins our business even now.
Among other highlights, we were the first bank to pioneer the idea of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) in the early 20th century – allowing Americans to invest in foreign securities directly on American exchanges. More recently, we are well known on Wall Street for being among the first to pioneer credit derivatives.
Of course, tradition by itself is worth next to nothing. Ours is an illustrious history. We see our heritage as providing a rich inheritance of resources. We’re naturally very careful about how we invest them and whom we pass them onto.
Building a financial powerhouse
In July 2004 the merger of two powerful and globally renowned institutions, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank One, created one of the world’s most dominant financial services corporations. And as the 2008 merger with Bear Stearns illustrates, J.P. Morgan continues to demonstrate market leadership.
Firmwide, we now have top-tier positions in both business-to-business (wholesale) and mass-market (retail) banking, alongside a more balanced earnings stream, greater scale and financial strength. Our retail businesses operate under the Chase brand. Within our wholesale businesses, it’s the future of the Corporate & Investment Bank and Asset Management that we’re shaping by hiring the very best candidates across the globe.
Our mission now is a simple one: to be the best financial services company in the world. In this, we’re certainly inspired by our history. But we’re more excited by the future.