Kleinwort, Benson: The History of Two Families in Banking

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Oxford University Press, 1997 - Business & Economics - 514 pages
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Kleinwort Benson is one of the most distinguished international investment banks in the City of London, becoming part of the Dresdner Bank Group in 1995. This is the story of how two families, the Kleinworts and the Bensons, emerged from medieval beginnings in Holstein and the Lake Districtto seek their fortunes in Hamburg, Cuba, and Liverpool, before arriving in the 1850s in London. There they founded two very different merchant banks, which merged in 1967 to create Kleinwort Benson Lonsdale, later Kleinwort Benson. The Kleinwort Benson story mirrors both the spectacular growthof English capital and its often turbulent side-effects. It shows how the two families survived the collapse of the Benson bank in 1875, the freezing of Kleinwort assets and business by the European financial crisis of 1931, and two World Wars, and how they established their banks as powerful Cityplayers in the postwar period. Their story is as much a human drama as a financial history. Brimming with generations of Kleinworts, Bensons, and the families with whom they married and formed partnerships, the book evokes their feuds and friendships, their successes and failures, set against thebackground of more than two hundred years of social and business history. This is the first full history of Kleinwort Benson. It contributes to our understanding of the way in which business is carried out in the City of London, and provides fascinating insights into the lives of those concerned.Jehanne Wake was given unrestricted access to the bank's archives and staff and has drawn upon a wealth of original sources to furnish this lively and readable history of the members of two banking dynasties and their boardroom successors.
  

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Contents

The Expansion of Kleinworts
105
The Rebuilding of Bensons
148
Reversal and Recovery
211
Heirs of the Establishment
261
Kleinworts and the Urge to Merge
319
Bensons and a Complementary Union
348
A Modem Merchant Bank 19611971
379
A Changed Landscape 19721994
406
A European Union 1995
438
Abbreviations used in Sources
445
List of Partners and Directors
468
R H Benson as a Collector
480
Index
489
Copyright

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About the author (1997)


Jehanne Wake is the author of Princess Louise: Queen Victoria's Unconventional Daughter (1988).

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