United States dollar
The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent units, but is divided into 1000 mills for accounting; the circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars. Since the suspension in 1971 of convertibility of paper U. S. currency into any precious metal, the U. S. dollar is, de facto, fiat money. As it is the most used in international transactions, the U. S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or accept U. S. dollar coins. As of June 27, 2018, there are $1.67 trillion in circulation, of which $1.62 trillion is in Federal Reserve notes.
Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution provides that the Congress has the power "To coin money". Laws implementing this power are codified at 31 U. S. C. § 5112. Section 5112 prescribes the forms; these coins are both designated in Section 5112 as "legal tender" in payment of debts. The Sacagawea dollar is one example of the copper alloy dollar; the pure silver dollar is known as the American Silver Eagle. Section 5112 provides for the minting and issuance of other coins, which have values ranging from one cent to 100 dollars; these other coins are more described in Coins of the United States dollar. The Constitution provides that "a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time"; that provision of the Constitution is made specific by Section 331 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The sums of money reported in the "Statements" are being expressed in U. S. dollars. The U. S. dollar may therefore be described as the unit of account of the United States.
The word "dollar" is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article I of the Constitution. There, "dollars" is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales. In 1792 the U. S. Congress passed a Coinage Act. Section 9 of that act authorized the production of various coins, including "DOLLARS OR UNITS—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver". Section 20 of the act provided, "That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units... and that all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation". In other words, this act designated the United States dollar as the unit of currency of the United States. Unlike the Spanish milled dollar, the U.
S. dollar is based upon a decimal system of values. In addition to the dollar the coinage act established monetary units of mill or one-thousandth of a dollar, cent or one-hundredth of a dollar, dime or one-tenth of a dollar, eagle or ten dollars, with prescribed weights and composition of gold, silver, or copper for each, it was proposed in the mid-1800s that one hundred dollars be known as a union, but no union coins were struck and only patterns for the $50 half union exist. However, only cents are in everyday use as divisions of the dollar. XX9 per gallon, e.g. $3.599, more written as $3.599⁄10. When issued in circulating form, denominations equal to or less than a dollar are emitted as U. S. coins while denominations equal to or greater than a dollar are emitted as Federal Reserve notes. Both one-dollar coins and notes are produced today, although the note form is more common. In the past, "paper money" was issued in denominations less than a dollar and gold coins were issued for circulation up to the value of $20.
The term eagle was used in the Coinage Act of 1792 for the denomination of ten dollars, subsequently was used in naming gold coins. Paper currency less than one dollar in denomination, known as "fractional currency", was sometimes pejoratively referred to as "shinplasters". In 1854, James Guthrie Secretary of the Treasury, proposed creating $100, $50 and $25 gold coins, which were referred to as a "Union", "Half Union", "Quarter Union", thus implying a denomination of 1 Union = $100. Today, USD notes are made from cotton fiber paper, unlike most common paper, made of wood fiber. U. S. coins are produced by the United States Mint. U. S. dollar banknotes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and, since 1914, have been issued by t
Richard B. Mellon
Richard Beatty Mellon, sometimes R. B. was a banker and philanthropist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his brother Andrew W. Mellon, sons of Judge Thomas Mellon, were frequent business partners. Richard served under Andrew at Mellon Bank, assumed its presidency in 1921 when Andrew was appointed Treasury Secretary, they made joint philanthropic gifts, notably several large donations to their alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, including creation of the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to honor their father, now a part of Carnegie Mellon University. R. B. Served from 1899–1910 as president of the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, renamed the Aluminum Company of America in 1907, was invested in the Pittsburgh Coal Company, today part of CONSOL Energy, where he clashed with John L. Lewis and the United Mine Workers, he was instrumental in forming Mellbank Corporation, a bank holding company, which helped the affiliated banks weather the Great Depression. In 1918, R. B. Mellon organized the Citizens' Committee on City Plan, which sought to improve Pittsburgh through better urban planning and zoning.
In honor of his civic efforts, the Air and Waste Management Association recognizes individuals who have made administrative and judicial contributions to the field of pollution abatement with the Richard Beatty Mellon Award. In 1931, R. B. Mellon along with C. C. Macdonald assumed control of Idlewild Park in Pennsylvania, he was the founder of the Rolling Rock Club. Mellon's philanthropic gifts were church-oriented. In 1926 he established a $15 million pension fund for Presbyterian ministers, he and his wife Jennie Taylor King were the major donors to the Cathedral of Hope, the new home for the East Liberty Presbyterian Church, which they and their parents had attended. He died on December 1933, before the new building was completed; the $13.3 million in taxes paid on his estate enabled the state to meet its payroll. His children Sarah Mellon and her younger brother Richard King Mellon were heirs to the family fortune alongside their cousins Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon-Bruce
The H. J. Heinz Company, better known as Heinz, is an American food processing company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the company was founded by Henry John Heinz in 1869. Heinz manufactures thousands of food products in plants on six continents, markets these products in more than 200 countries and territories; the company claims to have 150 number-two brands worldwide. Heinz ranked first in ketchup in the US with a market share in excess of 50%. Since 1896, the company has used its "57 Varieties" slogan. In February 2013, Heinz agreed to be purchased by Berkshire Hathaway and the Brazilian 3G Capital for $23 billion. On March 25, 2015, Kraft announced its merger with Heinz, arranged by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital; the resulting Kraft Heinz Company is the fifth largest food company in the world. Berkshire Hathaway became a majority owner of Heinz on June 18, 2015. After exercising a warrant to acquire 46 million shares of common stock for a total price of over $461 million, Berkshire increased its stake to 52.5%.
The companies completed the merger on July 2, 2015. Heinz was founded by and is named for Henry J. Heinz, born in the United States to German immigrants, his father was from Kallstadt, the son of a Heinz and Charlotte Louisa Trump, a great-great-aunt of 45th United States president, Donald Trump. His mother Anna was from Bavaria, they met in Pittsburgh. Henry J. Heinz began packing foodstuffs on a small scale at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1869. There he founded Heinz Noble & Company with a friend, L. Clarence Noble, began marketing horseradish; the first product in Heinz and Noble's new Anchor Brand was his mother Anna Heinz's recipe for horseradish. The young Heinz manufactured it in the basement of his father's former house; the company went bankrupt in 1875. The following year Heinz founded another company, F & J Heinz, with his brother John Heinz and a cousin, Frederick Heinz. One of this company's first products was Heinz Tomato Ketchup; the company continued to grow. In 1888, Heinz reorganized the company as the H. J. Heinz Company.
Its slogan, "57 varieties", was introduced by Heinz in 1896. Inspired by an advertisement he saw while riding an elevated train in New York City, Heinz picked the number more or less at random because he liked the sound of it, selecting "7" because, as he put it, of the "psychological influence of that figure and of its enduring significance to people of all ages." In 1905, H. J. Heinz was incorporated, Heinz served as its first president, holding that position for the rest of his life. Under his leadership, the company pioneered processes for sanitary food preparation, led a successful lobbying effort in favor of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. In 1908 he established a processing plant in Leamington, Canada for tomatoes and other products. Heinz operated it until 2014. Heinz was a pioneer in both scientific and "technological innovations to solve problems like bacterial contamination." He worked to control the "purity of his products by managing his employees", offering hot showers and weekly manicures for the women handling food.
During World War I, he worked with the Food Administration. In 1914, Heinz Salad Cream was invented in England. In 1930, Howard Heinz, son of Henry Heinz, helped to fight the downturn of the Great Depression by selling ready-to-serve quality soups and baby food, they became top sellers. During World War II, "Jack" Heinz led the company as president and CEO to aid the United Kingdom and offset food shortages, its plant in Pittsburgh was converted for a time to manufacture gliders for the War Department. In the postwar years, Jack Heinz expanded the company to develop plants in several nations overseas expanding its international presence, he acquired Ore-Ida and Starkist Tuna. In 1959, long-time Heinz employee Frank Armour Jr. was elected president and COO of H. J. Heinz Co. succeeding H. J. Heinz II, he was the first non-family member to hold the job since the company started in 1869. He became vice chairman in 1966, became chairman and CEO of Heinz subsidiary, Ore-Ida Foods Inc. In 1969, Tony O'Reilly joined the company's UK subsidiary.
He moved to Pittsburgh in 1971 when he was promoted to Senior Vice President for the North America and Pacific region. By 1973, board members Robert Burt Gookin and Jack Heinz selected him as President, he became CEO in 1979 and chairman in 1987. Between 1981 and 1991, Heinz returned 28% annually, doubling the Standard & Poor's average annual return for those years. By 2000, the consolidation of grocery store chains, the spread of retailers such as Walmart, growth of private-label brands caused competition for shelf space, put price pressure on the company's products; the decline was attributed to an inadequate response to broad demographic changes in the United States the growth in population among Hispanic and increased spending power of African Americans. On April 4, 1991, former U. S. Senator Henry John Heinz III, the third-generation successor to the Heinz fortune, six other people were killed when a Bell 412 helicopter and a Piper Aerostar with Heinz aboard collided in mid-air above Merion Elementary School in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania.
His fortune passed to Teresa Heinz. In 1998, Tony O'Reilly left Heinz after issues with the company
Philadelphia Savings Fund Society
The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society called the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, was a savings bank headquartered in Philadelphia, United States. PSFS was founded in December 1816, the first savings bank to organize and do business in the United States; the bank would develop as one of the largest savings banks in the United States and became a Philadelphia institution. Generations of Philadelphians first became lifelong depositors; the bank was organized by a group of men led by Condy Raguet, who had read about the concept of savings banks becoming popular in Great Britain. The bank began to expand by adding services and branches, moving into larger headquarters buildings. By the late 1910s, PSFS had the most depositors of any savings bank in the United States. PSFS began programs in the 1920s that encouraged children to put money into savings accounts instead of spending it on treats and school programs, allowing children to open accounts with PSFS. In the 1970s, changes in the personal finance industry led to smaller banks struggling to stay open.
A government solution had such banks merge with healthier ones and in 1982, the Western Savings Fund Society was merged with PSFS. The merger deal and changes in regulations allowed PSFS to expand into new business ventures. PSFS began expanding into other fields such as corporate finance, mutual funds, real estate development. In 1984 PSFS began doing business under the name Meritor Financial Group to emphasize its expansion into financial services; the new business venture led to the company losing millions of dollars. Despite the effort, Meritor continued to lose money. On December 11, 1992, federal regulators seized the 176-year-old bank and placed it into the receivership of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the FDIC sold its remaining assets to Mellon Financial for US$335 million. Mellon renamed the former PSFS branches Mellon PSFS, a name which lasted the end of 2001, when the branches were acquired by Citizens Financial Group. Founded in 1816, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society was the first savings bank to organize and do business in the United States.
Savings banks had existed in Europe for years and in the early 1810s had grown through Great Britain. This growth became the topic of numerous journals and pamphlets, some of which were brought to the attention of Philadelphia businessman Condy Raguet in late November 1816. Interested in the idea, Raguet approached associates, Richard Peters, Clement C. Biddle and Thomas Hale on creating a similar institution in Philadelphia. A meeting was held on November 25 to discuss the plan. A total of twelve men agreed to work together to form the bank. Along with Raguet, Peters and Hale, the other men, called associate founders, were Charles N. Bancker, Andrew Bayard, Samuel Breck, John McCrea, William Schlatter, John C. Stocker, John Strawbridge and Roberts Vaux. Over several meetings the group figured out the bank's structure and positions. Andrew Bayard was elected the first president of the bank during the third meeting on November 28; the bank was named the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society because Raguet felt the name "bank" was unpopular and calling it a society would make it easier to receive a charter from the state legislature.
On December 4, 1816, the Articles of Association, which contain the earliest written use of the name Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, were adopted. The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society opened two days before on December 2 in the office of the Saving Fund Society's first Secretary and Treasurer, George Billington; the office was located on the west side between Chestnut and Market Streets. Depositing five dollars, the first depositor was Raguet's African American servant. On February 25, 1819 the Governor of Pennsylvania approved the Pennsylvania legislature's act of incorporating the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society. PSFS grew but as early as August 1817 there were resolutions authorizing setting up branch offices outside of Philadelphia in Northern Liberties and Southwark. At first PSFS was open only on Mondays for receiving Thursdays for giving payments. While PSFS soon opened daily for business and payments were still only taken on those days. In 1835 PSFS expanded giving out deposits and payments on both Mondays and Thursdays, in 1865 it was open for all business daily.
In 1818 PSFS issued its first home mortgage to architect William Strickland for US$7,000. That same year PSFS moved its offices to Minor Streets. In the 1820s PSFS moved three more times, to Decatur Street in 1821 and Third and Walnut Streets in 1826; the latter office proved too small, so PSFS bought its own building elsewhere on Walnut Street and moved there on October 2, 1827. By 1833 PSFS again needed more room and PSFS bought property on which the bank built a structure designed by Thomas U. Walter. PSFS moved into the new building in February 1840. In 1865 PSFS again began looking for a new location and in 1866 a location was found on Seventh and Walnut Streets. Designed by architect Addison Hutton construction began in 1868 and the PSFS Headquarters building was opened for business on October 11, 1869. Forced to expand more, additions were made in 1885-86 by Hutton and in 1897-98, designed by Frank Furness. By 1917 the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society had the largest number of depositors of any savings bank in the United States and was second to the Emigrant Savings Bank in the amount of money deposited.
In 1923 PSFS began the first in-school banking program at William Penn School for Girls. The prog
The Bank of New York Mellon
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, doing business as BNY Mellon, is an American worldwide banking and financial services holding company headquartered in New York City. It was formed on July 1, 2007, as a result of the merger of The Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corporation, it is the world's largest custodian bank and asset servicing company, with $1.7 trillion in assets under management and $33.1 trillion in assets under custody as of December 2018. Through its Bank of New York predecessor, it is one of the three oldest banking corporations in the United States, among the oldest banks in the world, having been established in June 1784 by a group that included American Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Mellon had been founded in 1869 by the Mellon family of Pittsburgh, which included Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon; the first bank in the U. S. was the Bank of North America in Philadelphia, chartered by the Continental Congress in 1781. In February 1784, The Massachusetts Bank in Boston was chartered.
The shipping industry in New York City chafed under the lack of a bank, investors envied the 14% dividends that Bank of North America paid, months of local discussion culminated in a June 1784 meeting at a coffee house on St. George's Square which led to the formation of the Bank of New York company; the initial plan was to capitalize the company with $750,000, a third in cash and the rest in mortgages, but after this was disputed the first offering was to capitalize it with $500,000 in gold or silver. When the bank opened on June 9, 1784, the full $500,000 had not been raised. Aaron Burr had three of them, Hamilton had one and a half shares; the first president was Alexander McDougall and the Cashier was William Seton. Its first offices were in the old Walton Mansion in New York City. In 1787, it moved to a site on Hanover Square that the New York Cotton Exchange moved into; the bank provided the United States government its first loan in 1789. The loan was orchestrated by Hamilton Secretary of the Treasury, it paid the salaries of United States Congress members and President George Washington.
The Bank of New York was the first company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange when it first opened in 1792. In 1796, the bank moved to a location at the corner of William Street; the bank had a monopoly on banking services in the city until the Bank of the Manhattan Company was founded by Aaron Burr in 1799. During the 1800s, the bank was known for its conservative lending practices that allowed it to weather financial crises, it was involved in the funding of the Morris and Erie canals, steamboat companies. The bank helped finance both the Union Army during the American Civil War. Following the Civil War, the bank loaned money to many major infrastructure projects, including utilities and the New York City Subway. Through the early 1900s, the Bank of New York continued to prosper. In July 1922, the bank merged with the New York Life Trust Company; the bank continued to profit and pay dividends throughout the Great Depression, its total deposits increased during the decade. In 1948, the Bank again merged, this time with the Fifth Avenue Bank, followed by a merger in 1966 with the Empire Trust Company.
The bank's holding company was created in 1969. In 1988, the Bank of New York merged with Irving Bank Corporation after a year-long hostile take over bid by Bank of New York. Irving had been headquartered at 1 Wall Street and after the merger, this became the headquarters of the Bank of New York. From 1993 to 1998, the bank made 33 acquisitions, including acquiring JP Morgan’s Global Custody Business in 1995. Ivy Asset Management was acquired in 2000, the bank acquired Pershing LLC, the United States' second-largest trade clearinghouse, in 2003. In 2005, the bank settled a US federal investigation that began in 1996 concerning money laundering related to post-Soviet privatization in Russia; the illegal operation involved two Russian emigres, one of whom was a Vice President of the bank, moving over US$7 billion via hundreds of wires. In 2006, the Bank of New York traded its retail banking and regional middle-market businesses for J. P. Morgan Chase's corporate trust assets; the deal signaled the bank's exit from retail banking.
Mellon Financial was founded as T. Mellon & Sons' Bank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1869 by retired judge Thomas Mellon and his sons Andrew W. Mellon and Richard B. Mellon; the bank invested in and helped found numerous industrial firms in the late 1800s and early 1900s including Alcoa, Gulf Oil, General Motors and Bethlehem Steel. Both Gulf Oil and Alcoa are, according to the financial media, considered to be T. Mellon & Sons' most successful financial investments. In 1902, T. Mellon & Sons' name was changed to the Mellon National Bank; the firm merged with the Union Trust Company, a business founded by Andrew Mellon, in 1946. The newly formed organization resulting from the merger was named the Mellon National Bank and Trust Company, was Pittsburgh's first US$1 billion bank; the bank formed the first dedicated family office in the United States in 1971. A reorganization in 1972 led to the bank's name changing to Mellon Bank, N. A. and the formation of a holding company, Mellon National Corporation.
Mellon Bank acquired multiple banks and financial institutions in Pennsylvania during the 1980s and 1990s. In 1992, Mellon acquired 54 branch offices of Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, the first savings bank in the United Sta
Andrew William Mellon, sometimes A. W. was an American banker, industrialist, art collector, politician. From the wealthy Mellon family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he established a vast business empire before transitioning into politics, he served as United States Secretary of the Treasury from March 9, 1921, to February 12, 1932, presiding over the boom years of the 1920s and the Wall Street crash of 1929. A conservative Republican, Mellon favored policies that reduced taxation and the national debt in the aftermath of World War I. Mellon's father, Thomas Mellon, rose to prominence in Pittsburgh as a attorney. Andrew began working at his father's bank, T. Mellon & Sons, in the early 1870s becoming the leading figure in the institution, he renamed T. Mellon & Sons as Mellon National Bank and established another financial institution, the Union Trust Company. By the end of 1913, Mellon National Bank held more money in deposits than any other bank in Pittsburgh, the second-largest bank in the region was controlled by Union Trust.
In the course of his business career, Mellon owned or helped finance Alcoa, the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Old Overholt whiskey, Standard Steel Car Company, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the Pittsburgh Coal Company, the Carborundum Company, Union Steel Company, the McClintic-Marshall Construction Company, Gulf Oil, numerous other businesses. He was an influential donor to the Republican Party during the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. In 1921, newly-elected President Warren G. Harding chose Mellon as his Secretary of the Treasury. Mellon would remain in office until 1932, serving under Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, all three of whom were members of the Republican Party. Mellon sought to reform federal taxation in the aftermath of World War I, cutting taxes on top earners but leaving in place a progressive income tax; some of Mellon's proposals were enacted by the Revenue Act of 1921 and the Revenue Act of 1924, but it was not until the passage of Revenue Act of 1926 that the "Mellon plan" was realized.
He presided over a reduction in the national debt, which dropped in the 1920s. Mellon's influence in state and national politics reached its zenith during Coolidge's presidency. Journalist William Allen White noted that "so did Andrew Mellon dominate the White House in the days when the Coolidge administration was at its zenith that it would be fair to call the administration the reign of Coolidge and Mellon." Mellon's national reputation collapsed following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. Mellon participated in various efforts by the Hoover administration to revive the economy and maintain the international economic order, but he opposed direct government intervention in the economy. After Congress began impeachment proceedings against Mellon, President Hoover shifted Mellon to the position of United States ambassador to the United Kingdom. Mellon returned to private life after Hoover's defeat in the 1932 presidential election by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Beginning in 1933, the federal government launched a tax fraud investigation on Mellon, leading to a high-profile case that ended with Mellon's exoneration.
Shortly before his death in 1937, Mellon helped establish the National Gallery of Art, a national art museum. His philanthropic efforts played a major role in the establishment of Carnegie Mellon University and the National Portrait Gallery. Mellon's paternal grandparents, both of whom were Ulster Scots, migrated to the United States from County Tyrone, Ireland in 1818. With their son, Thomas Mellon, they settled in Pennsylvania. Thomas Mellon established a successful legal practice in Pittsburgh, in 1843 he married Sarah Jane Negley, an heiress descended from some of the first settlers of Pittsburgh. Thomas became a wealthy landowner and real estate speculator, he and his wife had eight children, five of whom survived to adulthood. Andrew Mellon, the fourth son and sixth child of Thomas and Sarah, was born in 1855. Though he lacked strong convictions about slavery, Thomas Mellon became a prominent member of the local Republican Party, in 1859 he won election to a position on the Pennsylvania court of common pleas.
Because Thomas was suspicious of both private and public schools, he built a schoolhouse for his children and hired a teacher. In 1869, after leaving his judicial position, Thomas Mellon established T. Mellon & Sons, a bank located in Pittsburgh. Andrew joined his father at the bank becoming a valued employee despite being in his early teens. Andrew attended Western University, but he never graduated. After leaving Western University, Andrew worked at a lumber and coal business before joining T. Mellon & Sons as a full-time employee in 1873; that same year, the Panic of 1873 devastated the local and national economy, wiping out a portion of the Mellon fortune. With Andrew taking a leading role at T. Mellon & Sons, the bank recovered, by late 1874 the bank's deposits had reached the level they had been at prior to the onset of the Panic. Mellon's role at T. Mellon & Sons continued to grow after 1873, in 1876 he was given power of attorney to direct the operations of the bank; that same year, Thomas introduced his son to Henry Clay Frick, a customer of the bank who would become one of Mellons's closest friends.
In 1882, Thomas turned over full ownership of the bank to his son, but Thomas continued to be involved in the bank's activities. Five years Mellon's younger brother, Richard B. Mellon, joined T. Mellon & Sons as a co-owner and vice p
Safeco Insurance, a member of Liberty Mutual Group, is a national U. S. insurance company. It held the naming rights to the Seattle Mariners' baseball stadium Safeco Field from its opening in 1999 through the end of the 2018 season. Safeco was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1923 by Hawthorne K. Dent as the General Insurance Company of America, a property and casualty insurer; this name is still used by Safeco on some of its insurance products. Thirty years the company founded the Selective Auto and Fire Ensurance Company of America, or SAFECO. General Insurance's first headquarters were in downtown Seattle at the corner of University Street and Fourth Avenue. In 1936, it moved to the eight-story Brooklyn Building at the corner of N. E. 45th Street and Brooklyn Avenue N. E. in the University District. General Insurance began to sell life insurance in 1957. Eleven years the corporate name changed from the General Insurance Company of America to Safeco Corporation. Around the same time the company began to offer commercial credit.
Safeco replaced the Brooklyn Building with the 22-story Safeco Plaza building in 1973. It remains the tallest building in the city outside Downtown. In 1997, Safeco bought American States Financial Corporation to expand beyond the West Coast. Washington Mutual's WM Life Insurance Company was purchased the same year. Two years Safeco bought R. F. Bailey Limited of London. In 2001, new management was brought in to restructure the company. Commercial credit operations were sold to General Electric in 2001, on March 15, 2004, the company announced the sale of its most profitable division, the life insurance and investments business, to a group of private investors led by Safeco board members and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. incorporating as Symetra Financial Corporation. The same day, it was announced that Hub International Ltd. was buying Safeco's insurance brokerage operations. Less than a month on April 12, it was announced that Mellon Financial Corporation would buy Safeco Trust Company, whose business is providing financial and estate planning services to individuals with over $1 million in assets.
On August 2, the closure of Safeco Asset Management, the mutual-fund business, was announced. On April 6, 2005, CEO Mike McGavick announced that Safeco would be consolidating operations at either the University District "home office" campus or the newer Eastside campus in Redmond, pending a competition between Microsoft and the University of Washington for the sale of one or the other location. On January 19, 2006, it was announced that Microsoft would purchase the Redmond campus for $209.5 million. Plans were announced for a new 125 feet office tower across the street from Safeco Plaza to house the 1,300 Redmond employees. However, McGavick subsequently stepped down as CEO to run for the U. S. Senate. In a surprise move, his replacement Paula Rosput Reynolds announced on August 30, 2006, that the entire University District complex would be sold as well, to the University of Washington for $130 million. Employees were told; some speculated. Safeco moved back downtown in 2007. On April 23, 2008, Safeco announced an agreement to be acquired by Liberty Mutual for $68.25 per share.
Safeco continues to offer personal lines insurance through independent agents On February 12, 2010, Safeco announced its donation of more than 800 pieces of its Safeco Art Collection to the Washington Art Consortium. This move was hailed by members of the local arts community as being a rare gift. Patricia Menacho v. F. Wilson. Car Accident - N/A. Pre-Trial Offer: $10,000.00. Verdict: 3,650,000.00. Morgan & Morgan - Jacksonville. Car Accident, Orange County, FL, 2018. Attorneys: Rick Block and Ryan Rudd. Attorneys from the OFFICE of Morgan & Morgan - For The People. Official site Historical Annual Reports for Safeco