Hilliard Lyons History

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A long and distinguished history

Hilliard Lyons is one the nation's oldest investment firms. In 1854, Quigley and Lyons was founded in the booming Ohio River trade center of Louisville, Ky. Later, when the partnership was dissolved, partner Henry J. Lyons decided to continue the business on his own. His firm, Henry J. Lyons & Co., began to thrive and in 1878, it bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. When Lyons died, his son took over and the firm became 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 established a reputation for exceptional service, changed its name to J.J.B. Hilliard and, in 1893, to J.J.B. Hilliard & Son. J.J.B. Hilliard & Son bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1922 and 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. And in 1998, Hilliard Lyons was acquired by PNC Financial Services Group.

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.