June 16, 2011
Financial Dinosaurs: Wall Street General Partnerships
The Economist today published an interesting article on Brown Brothers Harriman, one of the last financial firms organized as general partnerships.
General partnerships used to be the norm for brokerage and investment banking firms, but there are only a few small holdouts left. BBH, the largest remaining investment banking partnership, has only $600 million in capital. (Yes, I know: I too would be happy to have "only" $600 million.) The firm's eight partners share a single office, the Partners’ Room.
I’m not sure why, but it’s vaguely comforting to know that firms like that still exist. I can just imagine one of the partners putting his arm around the young Turk’s shoulder and explaining “how we do things around here.”