Harold Stanley

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For the Australian footballer, see Harold Stanley (footballer).

Harold Stanley (October 2, 1885 – May 14, 1963) was an American businessman and one of the founders of Morgan Stanley in 1935. He ran Morgan Stanley until 1955.

Stanley was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, went to the Hotchkiss School, and graduated from Yale University in 1908. He was a member of the Skull and Bones secret society.[1]

He married Edith Thurston, daughter of William Harris Thurston, in 1914. She died in 1934, and he married Louise Todd, widow of Seymour Parker Gilbert, in 1934. He had stepchildren, but no children from either of his marriages.

He became a vice-president of the bond department of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York in 1916, eventually spinning the division off into a separate and subsidiary securities company, the Guaranty Company, where he worked in cooperation with J. P. Morgan, who invited Stanley to become a partner in his firm in 1927. He made his name as a leader of the investment banking industry at J.P. Morgan, making the firm a strong player in securities offerings and especially the bond market, particularly after the Glass–Steagall Act separated commercial and investment banking. He helped found Morgan Stanley to take up the securities business that had to be given up by J. P. Morgan, and became the firm's senior partner when it was reorganized from a corporation to a partnership in 1941. Stanley was influential in his testimony in the 1940s successfully defending the industry against government charges that it was anti-competitive. He died in Philadelphia in 1963.


  1. ^ Beard, Patricia (2008). Blue Blood and Mutiny: The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley. HarperCollins. pp. 10, 22. 

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