Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Harris Trust & Savings Bank
Harris Trust & Savings Bank

Harris Trust & Savings Bank

In 1883, 35-year-old Norman Wait Harris founded N. W. Harris & Co., a small Chicago-based investment banking firm. By 1890, when Harris opened an office in New York, the company had nearly $2 million in assets. Specializing in the marketing of municipal bonds, the firm grew. In 1907, when it was selling about $70 million worth of bonds a year, the company was incorporated as the Harris Trust & Savings Bank. By 1922, it employed about 440 people; by 1929, it had over $100 million in assets. After World War II, the company continued to grow and became one of Chicago's leading banks. During the 1970s, when assets passed $4 billion, Harris employed about 3,500 people in the Chicago area. In 1984, when Harris ranked as the third-largest bank in Chicago, it was purchased by the Bank of Montreal. By the early 2000s, Harris (still a division of its Canadian parent) remained one of Chicago's largest banks, boasting $1.3 billion in revenues and employing nearly 6,000 people in the Chicago area.