It’s the end of an era. Ted Dimon has reportedly left Smith Barney for Merrill Lynch, bringing to an end a relationship with firm’s associated with Sanford Weill, who retired as Citigroup chairman earlier this year, that spans four decades and two generations. The history of the two families—the Weills and the Dimons—and the firms they worked for is nothing less than a lesson in Wall Street history.
(After the jump, a quick stroll through Wall Street history with the Dimon family.)
(Pictured: Ted Dimon's son, Jamie.)
Ted had followed in his greek immigrant father’s footsteps through the doors of the venerable Shearson Hamill & Co, which had roots back in the turn of the century. He was a leading broker there when it was taken over in 1974 by Weill’s firm, Hayden Stone (which was itself the product of a merger between a form Weill helped form with three friends in 1960 and the late nineteenth century Wall Street firm Hayden Stone). The two merged companies became known as Shearson Hayden Stone.
After the merger, Ted and his wife, Themis, became friendly with Weill and his wife. His son Jamie, who had worked with his father during summers as a young man, wrote a business college thesis paper on the merger of the two companies, which Themis showed to Weill in 1976, prompting Weill to offer Jamie a summer job at the firm. This began a long friendship between the two, with Sanford as mentor to Jamie. The pair worked closely together from the time Jamie graduated from Harvard business school. When Weill’s left American Express, which had bought Shearson Hayden Stone (or rather, a successor company, Shearson Loeb Rhodes), Jamie went with him. The rest of the story is well-known to those who have followed Weill’s career—the acquisitions Commercial Credit, Primerica and Travelers and the eventual merger with Citibank. Eventually the relationship soured, however, and Weill fired Jamie in 1998. (Jamie went on to head Chicago’s Bank One, which was later acquired by JP Morgan Chase, where he is now CEO).
We’ve been told that while Weill and Jamie left, Ted remained at Shearson American Express, which subsequently merged with EF Hutton and Lehman Brothers and eventually wound up as Smith Barney under Citigroup, bringing about a family reunion of sorts. Calls seeking to confirm this information about Ted’s career went unreturned. We know that he remained at Citigroup even after his son was fired, and continued to serve as his son’s stockbroker.
Jamie Dimon's Dad Leaves Citi For Merrill [Dow Jones Newswire]
Citigroup Family tree [pdf]