Norman Wait Harris
Norman Wait Harris, founder of Chicago’s Harris Bank (which later became BMO Harris Bank) established the security firm of Norman W. Harris & Company in 1882. Harris found success by striking into the retail securities market, embracing new methods of promotion and advertising.
Norman Harris put securities on a new, more public foundation. As our historian in Chicago remarks, “He believed that the existence and value of good [securities] should be made known to all potential buyers” in a time when public notices for such investments were rare or even considered unsavoury. The Harris Bank’s success in subsequent decades was in part a testament to the strong philosophical and managerial foundations set by its founder.