History of Wedbush Securities
A LOOK BACK: WEDBUSH WISDOM
Eight Days Later…
As Ed looked back throughout the years he had spent in the Securities and Investment Banking industry, he was often reminded of the many unique and memorable experiences encountered along the way. One experience happened when Michael Macchiaroli from the Securities Exchange Commission was visiting the Los Angeles headquarters. Michael paused at the landing between floors to look at two framed documents on the wall. He turned to Ed with laughter, and remarked that “this would never happen today.” Ed commented on the timeline between letters, one of which was written by himself to the SEC and the other the SEC’s response. When he thought about the origin of these letters, he was brought back to the firm’s humble beginnings.
It was the spring of 1955 and Ed had just graduated from the University of Cincinnati. Although he earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering, he was fascinated with Financial Services. Ed saw the Securities Markets as offering endless entrepreneurial possibilities. At a young age, the business taught him that being agile and opportunistic, while always understanding risk, would often bring him and his clients’ success. With that knowledge he decided to start a broker/dealer business, but realized to do so; he had to obtain registration from the SEC. He found himself, on May 26, 1955, sitting in his fraternity house, punching away on his typewriter his first formal communication to the SEC.
Ed had just received a scholarship from Hughes Aircraft to continue his graduate education at UCLA. Without knowing exactly when the SEC would respond to his request for registration, he had to submit two addresses for potential return. Thus, should they have responded later than June 14th, the letter would have to find him at his new home on UCLA’s fraternity row, 535 Gayley Ave in Los Angeles, California. Instead, a letter of acceptance arrived eight days later to 520 Howell Ave in Cincinnati, Ohio, and marked the inception of Wedbush and Associates. At the time he didn’t think much of it, seemingly just a customary business practice to respond in a timely manner.
Looking back, Mr. Macchiaroli was absolutely right, that would never happen today. Clearly the environment has changed dramatically for our industry. It’s more complex, competitive, and capital-intensive than ever. But that doesn’t mean tremendous opportunities still don’t exist for Wedbush and its clients. The opportunities may not unfold as quickly as they did over 60 years ago, but being nimble, opportunistic, and acting decisively on behalf of our clients will continue to payoff.
Ed’s Words of Wisdom
Living Frugal: “If you are not prepared to live frugally, do not become an owner of a start up business. You will squeeze yourself from too many directions. You’ve got to live below your income, whatever it might be. This is a very key element in growing a business. For the first 10 years of business, my take-home earnings were always lower than what I could have done had I maximized my employment opportunities. That was a trade-off I made.”
Entrepreneurial Spirit: “If you go into business as an entrepreneur just because you want to make money, then a few years later you will get tired of it and your business will flatten out or go away.”
Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship – University of Cincinnati, 2004
Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurship of the Year for Greater Los Angeles, 2006
Lifetime Achievement Award – University of Cincinnati, 2010
Los Angeles Business Journal- 100 Top Executives 2010
Concordia University Faithfulness & Excellence Award 2012
Director, Pacific Clearing Corp
Director, Pacific Securities Depository Trust Company
Chairman, Board of Directors of the Pacific Exchange
Director, Pacific Exchange
Director, National Securities Clearing Corp
Member of the American Stock Exchange Advisory Board
Member of the Nominating Committee for the Board of Directors of National Securities Clearing Corporation
Member of the Nominating Committee of The Options Clearing Corporation
Chairman of the NYSE Regional Firms Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors
Chairman, California/Western District – Securities Industry Association
Member of the Board of trustees, Great American Bank, Inc.
Member of the Board of Directors – Securities Industry Association
Member of Regional Firms Committee – Securities Industry Association
Member of the Triangle Fraternity Foundation Board
Member of the Board of Trustees, University of Cincinnati Foundation
Member of the Executive Committee to the President of the University of Cincinnati