The Alex. Brown and Sons Company Building
The Alex. Brown and Sons Company Building

One of Baltimore’s venerable names will be reappearing in town this fall. He never truly left, but a business deal forced him to go by someone else’s name for a while.

Alex. Brown will return as the name of the prominent financial firm in two downtown offices, as a result of a branding decision by its new owners. Around 2001, the firm became known as Deutsche Bank Wealth Management’s U.S. Private Client Services Unit. But now that has been bought by Raymond James, and the Floridian owners decided were taken by a name with a first and last.

Since the firm maintained a pair of offices and more than 100 employees here, the name is somewhat symbolic. But this particular moniker carries more than 200 years of history and prominence in Baltimore. Namesake Alexander Brown founded the country’s first investment bank here in 1800, and it was renamed Alex. Brown & Sons ten years later. According to the Baltimore Sun, the bank helped to finance the B&O Railroad, and the city’s first water system. It’s also beloved by the employees.

“There is deep affinity among our advisors, who understand Alex. Brown’s important role in the growth and prosperity of American companies and municipalities, and its reputation for serving the needs of ultra-high-net-worth clients and institutional investors,” new Alex. Brown President Haig Ariyan said.

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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