Catching Lightning in a Bottle (Hardcover)

How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World

By Winthrop H. Smith

Wiley, 9781118967607, 608pp.

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The fascinating story behind the company that revolutionized thefinancial world

Catching Lightning in a Bottle traces the completehistory of Merrill Lynch and the company's substantial impact onthe world of finance, from the birth of the once-mighty company toits inauspicious end. Throughout its ninety-four year history, Merrill Lynch revolutionized finance by bringing Wall Street toMain Street, operating under a series of guidelines known as thePrinciples. These values allowed the company to gain the trust ofsmall investors by putting the clients' interests first, driving abusiness trajectory that expanded capital markets and fueled thegrowth of the American post-war economy. Written by the son ofMerrill Lynch co-founder Winthrop H. Smith, this book describes thecreation and evolution of the company from Charlie Merrill'sone-man shop in 1914 to its acquisition by Bank of America in2008.

Author Winthrop H. Smith Jr. spent twenty-eight years at thecompany his father co-founded, bringing a unique perspective tobear in telling the story of the company that democratized thestock market and eventually fell from its lofty perch.

  • Learn why the industry initially scoffed at Charles Merrill's"radical" investment ideas
  • Discover the origin of the Principles, and how they droveoperations for nearly a century
  • Find out why the author left a successful Wall Street career, and why it was such a smart move
  • Examine the culture and values that built Merrill Lynch intoone of the world's most successful and respected companies

Revolutionary vision is rare, and enduring success is even moreso. When a single organization demonstrates both of thosecharacteristics, it is felt throughout the world. Discover thefascinating story behind Merrill Lynch and the men who built itfrom an insider's perspective in Catching Lightning in aBottle.

About the Author

WINTHROP H. SMITH, JR. is the son and name-sake of a founder of Merrill Lynch. He had his own illustrious twenty-eight-year career with the storied Wall Street firm, serving as an executive vice president, a member of the Executive Management Committee, and Chairman of Merrill Lynch International. Win is one of very few people to have known personally all twelve of the company's CEOs. He resigned abruptly in 2001 because he believed that the firm's culture and valued principles established by his father and Charles E. Merrill were about to change. He now owns and operates Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont.