Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris
The Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris the Comptoir d'escompte de Paris was one of four banks that combined to form BNP Paribas. The CNEP was created by decree on 10 March 1848 by the Provisional Government of the French Second Republic, it was founded in response to the financial shock caused by the revolution of February 1848. The upheaval destroyed the old credit system, struggling to provide sufficient capital to meet the demands of the railway boom and the resulting growth of industry; the CEP grew in France and overseas, although in 1889 there was a crisis in which it was temporarily placed in receivership. In 1945 the CNEP was nationalized, in 1966 merged with BNCI to form the Banque National de Paris, which in turn was merged with Paribas in 2000 to form BNP Paribas; the French Revolution of February 1848 caused a general failure of confidence in paper assets such as shares and bank deposits, a rush to convert these assets to gold and silver. The government was forced into emergency measures such as suspending payment on maturing treasury bonds, closing the stock market, forcing acceptance of banknotes and restricting the amount of withdrawals of saving deposits from the Bank of France.
However, the government would not take action to help protect private investors. Most of the private banks created during the July Monarchy were forced to close, as a result there was no longer an efficient way to convert letters of credit into cash. There were rumors that the Rothschilds were in serious difficulty and were preparing to liquidate, it was in this context. Louis-Antoine Garnier-Pagès was appointed Minister of Finance on 7 March 1848 and that evening published a decree that created the first "comptoirs d'escompte", or discount counters for credit notes, in Paris and other commercial centers; the organization of the Comptoir national d'escompte de la ville de Paris was defined in a decree of 8 March 1848. The book publisher A. L. Pagnerre, one of the organizers of the Campagne des banquets that had led to the revolution of February 1848, was appointed the bank's first Director and chairman of the board. Pagnerre was appointed on 9 March and the statutes of the comptoir was established by decree on 10 March.
Although he resigned in June of that year, Pagnerre established the main innovative principles that were to guide the bank's future operations. The Comptoir national de Paris was unusual in being set up as a limited liability bank, a structure that the state had long opposed; the Comptoir had authorized capital of 20 million francs, of which one third was to be provided as cash by subscribers, one third by the city of Paris in the form of bonds and one third by the state in the form of Treasury bonds. The city and state participation did not involve provision of cash, but was a guarantee in case of a deficit. Despite this participation by the state, there was no guarantee against the bank being liquidated at a loss if necessary; the Comptoir opened for business on 19 March 1848 in temporary offices in the Palais Royal. Initial capital was just over 1.5 million francs. A decree of 26 March established warehouses on the English model where manufacturers and traders could deposit their goods in exchange for a warrant that could be discounted at the CNEP "in anticipation of sale".
Paperwork was simplified with a reduction in the number of signatures needed on these warrants. It was hoped. For the first time small enterprises had access to a modern form of credit, which in the past had only been available to the largest companies. Operations started with just 244,297 transactions in the first fifteen months worth 192 million francs. However, the CNEP was able to pay a dividend of 6% to private shareholders at the end of the first year of operations; the French coup of 1851 reestablished the French Empire. The publicly available shares of 6,666,500 francs were not subscribed until July 1852, when the bank reached a capital value of 20 million francs including the state and city shares. Under an act of 10 June 1853 the bank's articles were amended to become closer to standard corporate law, with the Ministry of Finance no longer overseeing the appointment of officers; the state and city withdrew their capital, with the full 20 million francs now supplied by private investors.
With this privatization, the bank took the name "Comptoir d'escompte de Paris", which it was to retain until 1889. In 1854 the CEP was reconstituted by Imperial decree for thirty years, starting from 18 March 1857, authorized to increase its capital to 40 million francs; as of 18 March 1857 four subsidiaries were formed for entrepreneurs, colonial foods and railways. In the 1856/1857 fiscal year the Comptoir processed 615 million francs of warrants in 722,265 transactions; this was down from 650 million francs and 736,380 transactions the previous year. The CEP is dedicated to the business of discounting and defines at its creation a strategy of growth and support for trading in all its operations, by expanding its activities and areas of intervention; the decree of 25 May 1860 allowed the Comptoir to set up branches in the French colonies and abroad. In addition, the signing of the free trade agreement with Great Britain in 1860 encouraged the spread of great trade. Thus, the CEP will experience rapid international development which makes it the first French bank to create, ex nihilo, a network of branches abroad.
From 1860 onwards, the Comptoir established banking support points along the most intense or promising trade routes around the Indian Ocean and in the Far East. Thus, branches were opened in Shanghai and Calcutta, at Réunion, Hong Kong and S
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Bank of France
The Bank of France known in French as the Banque de France, headquartered in Paris, is the central bank of France. It is an independent institution, member of the Eurosystem since 1999, its three main missions, as defined by its statuses, are to drive the French monetary strategy, ensure financial stability and provide services to households and medium businesses and the French state. It is a member of the European System of Central Banks, which consists of the European Central Bank, the national central banks of all European Union members; the Kingdom of France's first experiment with a central bank was the Banque générale, set up by John Law at the behest of the Duke of Orléans after the death of Louis XIV. It was meant to stimulate France's stagnant economy and pay down its staggering national debt acquired from Louis XIV's wars, including the War of the Spanish Succession, it was nationalized in December 1718 at Law's request and formally renamed the Banque royale a month later. It saw great initial success, increasing industry 60% in two years, but Law's mercantilist policies saw him seek to establish large monopolies, leading to the Mississippi Bubble.
The collapse of the Mississippi Company and the Banque Royale tarnished the word banque so much that France abandoned central banking for a century precipitating Louis XVI's economic crisis and the French Revolution. Successors like la Caisse d'escompte and la Caisse d'escompte du commerce used the word "caisse" instead, until Napoleon retook the term with la Banque de France in 1800. In 1800, financial power in France was in the hands of about ten to fifteen banking houses whose founders, in most cases, came from Switzerland in the second half of the eighteenth century; these bankers were involved in the agitations leading up to the French Revolution. When the revolutionary violence got out of hand, they orchestrated the rise of Napoleon, whom they regarded as the restorer of order; as a reward for their support, Napoleon, in 1800, gave the bankers a monopoly over French finance by giving them control of the new Bank of France. Banker Claude Périer drafted Emmanuel Crétet was the first governor.
For the first fifteen years it was the sole issuer of bank notes in Paris, this privilege was extended to other financially important cities and the rest of the country by 1848. The Bank was instrumental in the creation of the Latin Monetary Union in 1865; the countries of France, Belgium and the Swiss Confederation established the LMU franc as a common bimetallic currency. In World War I, the Bank of France sold short-term Treasury bonds abroad to help pay for wartime expenditures. France abandoned the gold standard shortly after the outbreak of war. Debts amounted to 42 billion francs by 1919. Following the war, the Bank sought to re-establish the gold standard and acquired capital from a number of American and British banking syndicates to defend the franc from exchange-rate fluctuations; the Bank began to hoard gold reserves and, at its peak, held 28.3 percent of the world's gold stock. Some scholars have asserted that this gold accumulation was a contributing factor to the Great Depression.
Under Émile Moreau, Governor from 1926 to 1930, the Bank consolidated gold reserves created a stabilization insurance fund, tested new monetary policies in the wake of a global depression. Jean-Claude Trichet, Governor from 1993 to 2003, was the final Governor of the Bank until the establishment of the European Central Bank in June 1998. Today, the ECB sets monetary policy and oversees price stability for all countries in the Eurozone, including France. 1800 Creation of the Bank of France by Napoleon Bonaparte 14 April 1803, the new Bank received its first official charter granting it the exclusive right to issue paper money in Paris for fifteen years. 22 April 1806, a new law replaced the Central Committee with two Deputy Governors. All three were appointed by the Emperor. Decree dated 16 January 1808 set out the "Basic Statutes", which were to govern the Bank's operations until 1936. Decree on 6 March 1808 authorized the Bank to purchase the former mansion of the Count of Toulouse in the rue de la Vrillière in Paris for its headquarters.
1808–1936 The Bank's notes became legal tender. This reform cleared the path for the European monetary union. 1998 Entered into the European System of Central Banks 2002 Implementation of the Euro bank notes and coins in France 2003 Christian Noyer becomes governor of the Bank of France 2008 Implements quantitative easing to manage the financial crisis 2015 François Villeroy de Galhau replaces Christian Noyer. The Bank distributes dividends to the French state of 4.5 billion euros in 2016 and 5.0 billion euros in 2017. The Bank of France is responsible for three missions: monetary strategy, financial steadiness and services to the economy; the Bank of France contributes to the design of the monetary policy of the euro zone and implements it in France. It is the guardian of currency: it prints euro bank notes and manages the circulation of bank notes and coins, it participates in the fight against counterfeit money, by training bank employees, police, etc. The Bank of France establishes France
French Ministry for the Economy and Finance
The Ministry for the Economy and Finance, called the Finance Ministry for short and informally referred to as Bercy, is one of the most important ministries in the Government of France. Its minister is one of the most prominent cabinet members after the Prime Minister. An other minister, who helps the Minister of the Economy, is a part of the Ministry, it is the Minister of the Public Account, it is not mandatory that there is a Minister of Public Accounts but this position has always been assured. The exact name of the ministry has changed over time, has included the terms "economy", "industry", "finances", or "employment" through history; the Minister of Finance oversees: the drafting of laws on taxation by exercising direct authority over the Tax Policy Board of the Departement of Public Finances the Department of Revenue. By her authority above the financial assets of the State, the financial and economic national system and the taxation rules, the Minister is allowed to represent France in the European Union council of the minister of the Economy and Finance.
The Minister for the Budget, Public Accounts, the Civil Service and State Reform supervises: the preparation of the finance law, submitted to Parliament for amendment and final approval. See: https://web.archive.org/web/20100712035129/http://www.budget.gouv.fr/ The French taxation system is supervised by two separate board: the Direction générale des Finances Publiques for tax evaluation and collecting taxes such as VAT or corporate tax, income tax or local taxes based on Estate locative value. The Direction générale des douanes et des droits indirects for customs, for tax on petrol and fuels and for special indirect taxes such as taxes on alcohol, etc.). By delegation of the Prime Minister, he supervises the Public Services and the modernisation of the State, he is responsible with their colleagues for Health and Sport and for Labour, Labour Relations and Solidarity of the equilibrium of social accounts. See: https://web.archive.org/web/20070929104359/http://www.minefi.gouv.fr/directions_services/sircom/ministere/organigramme_mbcpfp.htm The Ministry of Finance is situated in Bercy, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.
The building extends to the Seine River, where there is an embarcadero with fast river boats for faster liaisons to other government agencies. That is why the French media refer to it as "Bercy"; the sentence the Bercy Fortress refers to the Ministry as a dark department with obtuse civil servants of high rank. That is emphasized by the impressive look of the building. For evident practical reasons, the two ministers share the building and some common services that were under the former ministry of Economy and Industry. List of Finance Ministers of France Superintendent of Finances - French Minister of Finance 1561–1661 Controller-General of Finances - French Minister of Finance 1661–1791 Composition of Government Common site of the two ministries The French taxation site
Michel Jean-Pierre Debré was the first Prime Minister of the French Fifth Republic. He is considered the "father" of the current Constitution of France, he served under President Charles de Gaulle from 1959 to 1962. In terms of political personality, he was intense and immovable, with a tendency to rhetorical extremism. Debré was born in Paris, the son of Robert Debré, the well-known Jewish professor of medicine, today considered by many to be the founder of modern pediatrics, his grandfather was a rabbi. Michel Debré, he studied at the Lycée Montaigne and at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, obtained a diploma from the École Libre des Sciences Politiques, a Ph. D. in Law from the University of Paris. He became a Professor of Law at the University of Paris, he joined the École des Officiers de Réserve de la Cavalerie in Saumur. In 1934, at the age of twenty-two, Debré passed the entrance exam and became a member of the Conseil d'État. In 1938, he joined the staff of the Economy Minister Paul Reynaud. In 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War, Debré was enlisted as a cavalry officer.
He was taken prisoner in Artenay in June 1940 during the Battle of France but managed to escape in September of that year. He returned to the Conseil d'État, now under the administration of the Vichy regime, was sworn in by Marshal Philippe Pétain. In 1942 he was promoted to maître des requêtes by the Minister of Justice. After the German invasion of the free zone in November 1942, Debré's political pétainisme disappeared, in February 1943 he became involved in the French Resistance, joining the network Ceux de la Résistance. During the summer of 1943, General Charles de Gaulle gave Debré the task of making a list of prefects, or State representatives, who would replace those of the Vichy regime after the liberation. In August 1944 de Gaulle made him Commissaire de la République for Angers, in 1945, the Provisional Government charged him with the task of reforming the French Civil Service. Debré created the École nationale d'administration, whose idea was formulated by Jean Zay before the war.
Under the Fourth Republic, Michel Debré at first supported the Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance, but defected to the Radical-Socialist Party on the advice of General Charles de Gaulle, who told him and several other politicians, including Jacques Chaban-Delmas,"Allez au parti radical. C'est là que vous trouverez, it is there that you will find the last vestiges of the meaning of the state". He joined the Rally of the French People and was elected senator of Indre-et-Loire, a position he held from 1948 to 1958. In 1957, he founded Le Courrier de la colère, a newspaper that fiercely defended French Algeria and called for the return to power of de Gaulle. In the 2 December 1957 issue, Debré wrote: This explicit appeal to the insurgency led the socialist politician Alain Savary to write that "In the case of the OAS insurgency, the soldiers are not the culprit. Michel Debré had four sons: businessman. See Debré family. Michel Debré became the Garde des Sceaux in the cabinet of General de Gaulle on 1 June 1958.
He played an important role in drafting the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, on its acceptance he took up the new position of Prime Minister of France, which he held from 8 January 1959 to 1962. After the 1962 Évian Accords referendum that ended the Algerian War and gave auto-determination to Algeria was approved by a nearly ten-to-one margin, de Gaulle replaced him with Georges Pompidou. In November, during the parliamentary elections that followed the dissolution of the National Assembly, he tried to be elected Député for Indre-et-Loire. Defeated, in March 1963 he decided to go to Réunion, an island he had visited for less than twenty-four hours on 10 July 1959 when on a trip with President de Gaulle; this choice reflects Debré's fear that what remained of the French colonial empires would follow the path trodden by Algeria – that of independence, towards which he was not sympathetic. Debré wanted to take action against the Communist Party of Réunion, founded by Paul Vergès a few years earlier.
The movement sought self-determination for the island and the removal of its position as an overseas department, had staged demonstrations on the island a few day earlier. He noted that the invalidation of Gabriel Macé's election as Mayor of Saint-Denis rendered the post open to the opposition, so he took the decision to win over this mandate, he returned in the government in 1966 as Finance Minister. After the May 1968 crisis, he became Foreign Minister one year he served as Defence Minister of President Georges Pompidou. In that role, he became a hated figure of the left, because of his determination to expropriate the land of 107 peasant farmers and shepherds on the Larzac plateau, to extend an existing military base; the resulting civil disobedience campaign was victorious. Considered as a guardian of the Gaullist orthodoxy, he was marginalized after the election of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing as President of France in 1974, he criticized with virulence his foreign policy. In 1979 he took a major part in the Rally for the Republic campaign against the European federalism and was elected member of the European Parliament in order to defend the principle of Europe of nations.
But he accused Jacques Chirac and the RPR lead to moderate their speech, so, he was a di
BNP Paribas S. A. is a French international banking group. It is the world's 8th largest bank by total assets, operates with a presence in 77 countries, it was formed through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris and Paribas in 2000, but has a corporate identity stretching back to its first foundation in 1848 as a national bank. It is one of three major international French banks, along with Société Générale and Crédit Agricole; the group is listed on the first market of Euronext Paris and a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index, while it included in the French CAC 40 index. With both a retail banking section and investment banking operations, the bank is present on five continents, its retail banking networks serves more than 30 million customers in its three domestic markets, France and Italy through several brands such as BNL and Fortis. The retail bank operates in the Mediterranean region and in Africa. In the Americas, it operates in the western United States as Bank of the West and is Hawaii's most important banking group through its majority-owned subsidiary First Hawaiian Bank.
As an investment bank and international financial services provider for corporate and institutional clients, it is present across Europe, the Americas, Asia. BNP Paribas is the largest bank in the Eurozone, it became one of the five largest banks in the world following the 2008 financial crisis. Despite some legal difficulties in the United States in 2014, including being fined the largest sum as reparation for violating US sanctions, it remains one of the ten largest banks worldwide; the Banque Nationale de Paris S. A. resulted from a merger of two French banks – Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie and Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris – in 1966. The Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas S. A. or Paribas, was formed from two investment banks based in Paris and Amsterdam, in 1872. Les Pays-Bas is French for the Netherlands. In May 2000, BNP and Paribas merged to form BNP Paribas, thus descended from four founding banking institutions. On 7 March 1848, the French Provisional Government founded the Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris in response to the financial shock caused by the revolution of February 1848.
The upheaval destroyed the old credit system, struggling to provide sufficient capital to meet the demands of the railway boom and the resulting growth of industry. The CEP grew in France and overseas, although in 1889 there was a crisis in which it was temporarily placed in receivership. Separately, on 18 April 1932, the French government replaced Banque nationale de crédit, which failed as a result of the 1930s recession, with the new bank Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie; the former banks headquarter and staff were used to create BNCI with fresh capital of 100 million francs. The bank grew through absorbing a number of regional banks that got into financial trouble. After the Second World War, it continued to grow steadily, it grew its retail business in France and its commercial business overseas in the French colonial empire. After the end of the Second World War, the French state decided to "put banks and credit to work for national reconstruction". René Pleven Minister of Finance, launched a massive reorganization of the banking industry.
A law passed on 2 December 1945 and which went into effect on 1 January 1946 nationalized the four leading French retail banks: Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie, Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris, Crédit Lyonnais, Société Générale. In 1966, the French government decided to merge Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris with Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie to create one new bank called Banque Nationale de Paris; the bank was re-privatised in 1993 under the leadership of Michel Pébereau as part of a second Chirac government's privatization policy. Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas was established on 27 January 1872, through the merger of Banque de Crédit et de Dépôt des Pays-Bas, established in 1820 by Louis-Raphaël Bischoffsheim in Amsterdam, Banque de Paris, founded in 1869 by a group of Parisian bankers, it went on to develop a strong investment banking business both domestically in France and overseas. During the period 1872 to 1913, it was involved in raising funds for the French and other governments as well as big businesses through a number of bond issues.
It helped the French government raise funds during the First World War and raised further capital and expanded into investments into industrial companies during the Great Depression. It lost assets during the Second World War. After World War II, it missed the nationalisation of the other French banks due to its status as an investment bank and managed to take advantage of that by expanding its operations overseas, it directs its activity towards businesses and participates in the development and restructuring of French industry, including names such as Groupe Bull and Thomson-CSF. The bank was nationalized in 1982 by the government of Pierre Mauroy under François Mitterrand as part of a law that nationalized five major industrial companies, thirty-nine registered banks, two financial companies and Paribas, it was re-privatized in January 1987 by the Chirac government. In the 1990s, Paribas had an active policy of acquisitions and divestiture; this included selling the Ottoman Bank to Doğuş Holding, setting up the joint venture lending company Cetelem in Germany.
It sold Crédit du Nord to Société Générale and in 1998 it merged with Compagnie Bancaire, renaming the bank with th
Kleinwort Benson was a leading investment bank that offered a wide range of financial services from offices throughout the United Kingdom and Channel Islands. Two families, the Kleinworts and the Bensons, founded two different merchant banks in London, they merged in 1961 to create Kleinwort Benson Lonsdale Kleinwort Benson. Following its acquisition by Société Générale in June 2016, it was merged with SG Hambros a subsidiary of Société Générale, to form Kleinwort Hambros in November 2016; the earliest known Kleinwort to go into banking was 24-year-old Heinrich Kleinwort, a grandfather of Sir Alexander Drake Kleinwort, 1st Baronet. In 1786, Heinrich set up a partnership with Otto Mueller in Holstein to finance trade with England. Kleinworts established a successful trading business in Cuba, profiting from the expansion of the H. Upmann and Sons cigar business. Edward Cohen and James Drake joined the firm in the 1830s and for a while it was known as Drake and Cohen; the firm helped finance Francisco Franco's coup d'état in Spain by approving a credit of 800,000 pounds at 4% interest on 15 September 1937.
A month Kleinworts agreed another loan of 1,500,000 pounds sterling at 3%. In 1786, Robert Benson, a Quaker, joined with William Rathbone IV of the existing house of William Rathbone & Co. to form Rathbone & Benson, a Liverpool business trading with America. Over the course of the 19th century, the Benson family grew its wealth through railway finance in Britain and America. For example it became part of a syndicate that marketed shares in the Illinois Central Railroad in 1852. In 1947 Robert Benson and Co. merged with Lonsdale Investment Trust to form Robert Benson, Lonsdale and Co. The Benson family interest in the group was watered down but operational control of bank remained with its Chairman, Rex Benson. Kleinworts and Robert Benson, Lonsdale and Co. merged to form Kleinwort Benson Lonsdale in 1961. The merged firm acquired the bullion dealer Sharps Pixley in 1966 thereby securing a seat on the London gold price fixing committee that met twice daily in the offices of N M Rothschild & Sons.
Kleinwort Benson worked on several major mergers and acquisitions at this time including the merger of Cadbury with Schweppes in 1969. The firm decided to enter the securities market buying Grieveson Grant, a leading stockbroker, in April 1986. Although, like many other banks at the time, Kleinwort Benson contemplated buying a jobbing firm in order to get into that part of the market, in the end it was saved from having to do so by the defection of a number of senior market-makers from Wedd Durlacher Mordaunt as it was acquired by Barclays Bank. In the 1980s, Kleinwort Benson was a pioneer in privatisation, it managed the reprivatisation of British Aerospace, the first of the British Government's programme of disposals in 1981. It managed the flotation of Cable & Wireless in the same year, it next advised on the privatisation of Associated British Ports in 1983. It went on to advise the British Government on the sale of 50.2% of British Telecom, the largest share issue at the time, in 1984. It assisted with the privatization of Enterprise Oil in the same year.
Important private sector transactions at that time included the takeover of Harrods by the Fayed brothers in 1984. The firm worked on overseas privatisations advising the Italian government on the IPO of Enel in 1993. In the United Kingdom it advised on Carlton Communications' £723 million takeover of Central Television in the same year. In 1995, Kleinwort Benson was acquired by Dresdner Bank and, as Dresdner Kleinwort, became its investment banking arm, it added global reach through the acquisition of the US investment bank Wasserstein Perella in 2001. The Frankfurt branch of the bank was instrumental in initiating trading in emissions credits in 2003. In 2004, the Russian government hired Dresdner Kleinwort to value Yukos's Yuganskneftegaz, sold to Russian state oil major Rosneft. In January 2006, the bank became the target of a US$1.4 billion class action suit by six employees alleging bias and systematic discrimination against female workers. In December 2008 Commerzbank, in the process of acquiring Dresdner Bank, decided to close Dresdner Kleinwort's Mergers & Acquisitions Unit.
In March 2009 it became clear that the office in Japan would close. It became clear that the capital markets and equities units would close and that advisory work would only be undertaken for Commerzbank's German clients. In February 2009 the Commerzbank management announced that no bonuses would be paid across the Commerzbank group including Dresdner Kleinwort; this was clarified to mean that Front Office staff would receive 10% of the bonus promised in December 2008 but support functions would receive their full bonus. This, together with issues regarding severance payments and guaranteed bonus payments, led to a number of lawsuits. Jens-Peter Neumann, former head of Capital Markets sued in Germany in April 2009 for €1.5 million in severance pay. Former senior managers Martin Newson, Eduardo Listorti and Michael Adams sued but settled out of court. Other executives won their bonus suits against the bank in August 2009. Additional cases were brought by Dresdner Kleinwort executive committee members John McIntyre, Bertrand Pinel and Alberto Piedra in August 2009 seeking €11 million.
In September 2009, 72 former and current Dresdner Kleinwort front office employees sued for £30 million in disputed bonus payments. In September 2009 Commerzbank decided to abandon use of the Dresdner Kleinwort name and, in October 2009, sold the firm, by renamed Kleinwort Benson, to RHJ Inter