A long and distinguished history
Hilliard Lyons is one the oldest investment firms in the United States. In 1854, Quigley and Lyons was founded in the booming Ohio River trade center of Louisville, KY. The partnership later dissolved and Henry J. Lyons decided to continue the business on his own. His firm, Henry J. Lyons & Co., thrived and in 1878 bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. When Lyons died, his son took over, renaming the firm W.L. Lyons & Company.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Louisville, John James Byron Hilliard had joined two other businessmen to found A.D. Hunt & Company in 1872. The private bank accepted deposits and dealt in real estate mortgages, railroad bonds, the gold trade and investment loans. This firm, which had established a reputation for exceptional service, became J.J.B. Hilliard & Son in 1893 and bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1922. By the midpoint of the century, it had become the dominant investment firm in the region.
In 1965, J.J.B. Hilliard & Son and W.L. Lyons and Company combined to become J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons.
In 1972, Hilliard Lyons exchanged its traditional partnership form of business for a corporation model, before being acquired by PNC Financial Services Group in 1998.
In 2008, ownership of Hilliard Lyons was transitioned from PNC Financial Services Group to joint ownership by Hilliard Lyons’ own employees and Houchens Industries, Inc. of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a diversified, employee-owned company.