History of LaidLaw

Much Has Changed. The Name Remains the Same.


The Webster-Ashburton Treaty established the Unites States-Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.  John J. Greenough received a patent for the sewing machine paving the way for a boom in New York’s furnishings and apparel industry.  At about the same time, adhesive postage stamps were sold for the first time at New York City post office. The first child labor laws were introduced in the United States, England and Belgium. Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in Springfield, Illinois while Karl Marx became editor of the newspaper Rheinische Zeitung in Cologne, Germany, only to be shut down by authorities the next year. Anesthesia in the form of ether was successfully used in an operation for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long, and would soon to come into widespread use during America’s Civil War.  The British Empire, following on the Treaty of Nanking ending the First Opium War, annexed Hong Kong, which would one day become a gateway to the world’s largest population center.

In the world of finance, the Income Tax Act established the first peacetime income tax in the United Kingdom at 7 pence (2.9%) per pound for incomes over 150 pounds. Although promoted as a temporary measure, income tax has been levied continually in Britain ever since. President John Tyler was burned in effigy outside the White House after he vetoed two successive attempts to re-establish a central bank for the United States. Fully, one quarter of the banks operating in the United States in 1837 were bankrupt by 1842. And yet, the New York Curb Exchange, later to change its name to the American Stock Exchange, opened for business trading in securities not qualified for listing on the New York Stock Exchange.  And the original Laidlaw & Company was born.

Our Heritage: Three Different centuries.  One fundamental approach

In 1842, when the original Laidlaw opened its doors, it was one of the first investment banks in the United States.  We trace our origins to that firm. Almost One Hundred and Seventy-Five Years later with worldwide offices and a global base of high net worth clients including corporations, institutions and individuals,  Laidlaw & Company remains on the vanguard of sound investment practice.

Milestones: Landmarks in the history of the Laidlaw name

1842 – Two young New Yorkers, Devid Heran and James Lees establish Heran & Lees, a commission merchant house in New York City.

1854 – Henry Bell Laidlaw enters the employ of the firm, now known as Hewitt Lees & Company.

1866 – The firm begins to assume the role of private banker. Henry Bell Laidlaw becomes the partner of James Lees.

1873 – Henry Bell Laidlaw assumes leadership of the firm. Charles E Laidlaw joins his brother, Henry, and the firm changes its name to Laidlaw & Co.

1878 – Laidlaw & Co., becomes a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Charles Laidlaw becomes a Governor of the Exchanges, serving the next 13 years.

1880 – The firm moves to a new location, 14 Wall Street, where it remains for the next 30 years.

1894 – James Lee Laidlaw, the eldest son of Henry Bell Laidlaw, becomes a partner of the firm.

1901 – The firm acquires a substantial stock brokerage “wire” business, which makes it the first NYSE member firm to establish securities branches in Toronto and Montreal.

1902 – Henry Bell Laidlaw dies. Under his leadership, the firm expanded from a small private bank to an influential banking and brokerage concern.

1902 – Henry Bell Laidlaw dies. Under his leadership, the firm expanded from a small private bank to an influential banking and brokerage concern.

1942 – Laidlaw merges with Mackay & Co. By the end of World War II, Laidlaw & Co., is activity engaged in investment banking, asset management, and securities brokerage.

1961 – Hambros Bank Ltd., London’s largest merchant bank, becomes a limited partner in Laidlaw & Co.

1973 – Laidlaw acquires Coggeshall & Hick, Inc., and the name is changes to Laidlaw Coggeshall, Inc.

1976 – Gottried “Goli” von Meyern Hohenberg, a general partner at Adams & Peck, join Laidlaw as a Senior Vice-President. Two years later, Laidlaw acquires Adams & Peck, and the firms name is changes to Laidlaw, Adams & Peck.

1988 – Laidlaw Holdings, Inc., is incorporated in Delaware for the purpose of consolidating the Securities Brokerage, Investment Banking, International and Asset management Divisions.

1994 – Europe Continents Holding (ECH), an international trading firm based in Luxembrourg, purchases shares of Laidlaw Holdings, Inc.

1995 – A majority interest in Laidlaw Holdings, Inc. is purchased by Pacific USA Holdings Corporation, and Larry D. Horner, the Chairman of Pacific USA Holdings Corporation, becomes the Chairman of Laidlaw Holdings, Inc.

1996 – Laidlaw acquires Howe & Rusling, Inc., an investment firm, founded in 1930.

1999 – Laidlaw Global Corp. launches an interest based company called Global Electronic Exchange. A new month later, Laidlaw acquires Westminister Securities, a NYSE member firm and Laidlaw Pacific (Asia). Ltd., a Hong Kong SFE member. In June of the same year, Laidlaw Holdings becomes a public company under the name Laidlaw Global Corporation. Anastasio Carayannis becomes President and spurs unprecedented growth of earnings.

2000 – Laidlaw Global Corp. launches Globeshare.com one of Global Electronic Exchange’s products, offering the first global online trading site.

2004 – Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. expands its footprint in the United States by adding offices in Florida, Texas and California.

2005 – The Laidlaw investment banking group introduces pooled investment vehicles to investors as an entry method of aggregating funds for direct venture investments in pharmaceuticals, insurance, consumer, technology, retail and other emerging growth opportunities.

2010 – Laidlaw expands the pooled investment strategy to include late stage private securities in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other private issuers.

2011 – Laidlaw launches capital market, research and banking initiatives in health care, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

2012 – Laidlaw adds metals, mining and natural resources to its investment banking and capital markets strategy.