Dean Witter, his brother Guy and his cousin Jean found a securities firm dealing in municipal and corporate bonds in San Francisco. Before the year is over, the first branch opens in Seattle.

The new Dean Witter firm underwrites the offering of $1.5 million in debentures of the Boeing Company in Seattle.

Dean Witter purchases its first exchange seat on the San Francisco Stock Exchange, later part of the Pacific Stock Exchange.
Dean Witter & Co. opens a New York office and purchases a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. In its first merger -- with Duisenberg, Wichman & Co. -- the firm gains offices in new locations in Oakland and Honolulu.
Richard S. Reynolds, Jr., Thomas F. Staley and Charles H. Babcock -- all members of the Reynolds family -- open a securities firm in New York. Within one year, Reynolds & Co. moves to larger quarters at 120 Broadway.
In its first merger -- F.A. Willard & Co. -- the Reynolds firm triples its sales and launches a new emphasis on underwritings.
Dean Witter moves to larger quarters at 45 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. Reynolds & Co. opens its first branch in Morristown, New Jersey.
Dean Witter multiplies its share of the San Francisco market through the acquisition of Lieb, Keyston & Co. Meanwhile, Reynolds gains offices in Pennsylvania and upstate New York in the acquisition of Dyer, Hudson & Co. Then expansion of both firms comes to a halt during the Second World War.
Dean Witter & Co. becomes one of the first securities firms to establish an Account Executive training program.
In a post-war expansion, Dean Witter opens new offices in the Northwest and continues moving east with the purchase of Chicago's prestigious bond dealer Harris, Hall & Co. Reynolds, meanwhile, is moving west and opens its first California offices in one of three mergers this year.
Robert M. Gardiner is picked by Thomas F. Staley for leadership of Reynolds & Co.
Dean Witter's first international office is acquired in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dean Witter is the first firm in the industry to apply EDP technology to its commodity business.
Reynolds embarks on major expansion with the addition of 26 offices from A.M. Kidder & Co., three from another firm, plus nine opened independently.
Dean Witter & Co., a California Partnership, becomes Dean Witter & Co. Incorporated, a Delaware Corporation, reporting more than $45 million in capital.
Dean Witter passes away. Guy Witter retires.
William M. Witter, son of co-founder Jean Witter, is elected CEO of Dean Witter & Co. Incorporated. A consolidation with San Francisco's J. Barth & Co. greatly extends Dean Witter's West Coast research and sales resources.
Reynolds & Co., a New York Partnership, goes public, becoming Reynolds Securities, Inc., a Delaware Corporation, in an initial public offering of 1.2 million shares. Reynolds is listed on the New York Stock Exchange during the first week of the new year.
Dean Witter & Co. Incorporated goes public in an offering of 1.5 million shares and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Andrew J. Melton, Jr. joins Dean Witter & Co. Inc. from Smith, Barney & Co. Inc. as Executive Vice President.
Reynolds Securities, Inc. implements REYCOM, the most sophisticated high-speed wire system in the industry, and acquires its first international offices in Lugano and Lausanne, Switzerland. Meanwhile, a major expansion is under way at Dean Witter with the merger of Laird, Bissell & Meeds' offices and facilities in the Middle Atlantic and southeastern United States.
Dean Witter Organization Inc. (DWO) becomes the holding company for Dean Witter & Co. Incorporated. Forty-four hundred employees in 102 offices produce gross revenues of more than $141 million.
Reynolds Securities International Inc. (RSII) becomes the holding company for Reynolds Securities, Inc. Thirty-one hundred employees in 72 offices produce gross revenues of nearly $120 million.
Surety Life Insurance Co. of Salt Lake City is merged with DWO. One of two computerized internal systems for odd lot trades on the New York Stock Exchange is initiated by Dean Witter. Six new international locations are acquired by RSII in a merger with Baker, Weeks & Co. In another move, RSII is affiliated with Banque Arabe et Internationale d'Investissement (BAII) in Paris, supporting the capital flow between Middle Eastern oil production and Western markets.
Dean Witter InterCapital is formed with the acquisition of the outstanding stock of Standard & Poor's InterCapital Inc., an investment-management firm with $200+ million in assets. Dean Witter & Co. reports its 53rd consecutive year of profitability and Reynolds Securities, Inc. reports its 46th consecutive year of profitability. In September, Andrew Melton is elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Dean Witter & Co.
Dean Witter Reynolds (DWR) is formed with the merger of the two firms in the largest merger at that time in the securities industry.
DWR becomes the first brokerage house with offices in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Revenues exceed $520 million.
DWR purchases 512,700 shares of its common stock (6.3% of outstanding shares) from Banque Arabe et Internationale d'Investissement (BAII), their total holding. Transaction totals $12.5 million. Revenues exceed $700 million; net income also sets record, at over $36 million.
DWR purchases Lincoln Benefit Life, a Nebraska company with more than $1 billion of insurance in force, for $11 million. On December 31, Dean Witter Reynolds joins the Sears, Roebuck and Co. family as the nucleus of its financial services network. Ranked high among Wall Street firms based on its net capital position ($300 million) and retail broker force (4,500 strong in 335 locations), DWRO's 11,500 employees nationwide and abroad give the world's largest retailer further penetration in the financial services industry.
A new organizational structure, decentralized and, for the most part, under new management drawn from within the company, is put into place. The holding company, Dean Witter Reynolds Organization Inc., is restructured into four major corporate units in the financial services areas: Dean Witter Reynolds Inc., Dean Witter Reynolds Capital Markets Group, Dean Witter Reynolds InterCapital Inc., and Dean Witter Reynolds International Group.
Dean Witter Financial Services launches Discover Card.
Dean Witter Financial Services Group restructures, making Discover Card Services, Inc. a separate business unit in addition to Dean Witter Financial and Dean Witter Capital.
Dean Witter Financial Services Group sells approximately 30% of its equity in SPS Transaction Services to the public. Dean Witter Financial Services Group introduces the NOVUS division as a new name to identify its Credit Services businesses. In December, DWFSG is renamed Dean Witter, Discover & Co.
Sears sells 20% of its equity in Dean Witter, Discover & Co. to the public, with plans to spin off the remaining 80% to Sears shareholders. Stock symbol: DWD.
DWD subsidiary Prime Option Services launches its co-branded credit card, Prime Option MasterCard, in conjunction with NationsBank in February. Dean Witter's net income grows 15%, despite a lackluster year for other brokerage firms, as the number of Account Executives grows to more than 8,000.
NOVUS Services launches Private Issue Card and BRAVO Card as part of a strategy to reach new market segments with cards accepted by the NOVUS Network of merchants. Dean Witter's total client assets exceeds $200 billion, reaching $223 billion, while assets under management and administration grow to nearly $80 billion.
Dean Witter adds an agreement with Banc One to an earlier agreement with NationsBank to provide broad securities programs at those premier banks. NOVUS Services launches an affinity card with the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, with proceeds helping to protect endangered species.

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