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Witt Stephens establishes the firm to trade Arkansas Highway bonds, then selling for as low as pennies on the dollar. By the time the bonds paid off at par in the early ‘40s, Stephens has gained a reputation for both municipal bond expertise and for providing sound financial counseling.
Jackson T. “Jack” Stephens joins his brother upon his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. Together they form Stephens Inc. on a handshake partnership that lasts over 45 years. That philosophy of partnership continues to guide the way Stephens does business today.
Stephens purchases the Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Co.
Allied Telephone begins a decades-long relationship with Stephens. The company will ultimately evolve into global telecom giant Alltel.
Stephens acquires the Oklahoma Producing Co., renaming it Stephens Production Company.
Stephens purchases the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Co. (ArkLa).
Jack becomes President of Stephens Inc. Witt leaves the firm to become President and Chairman of Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company, where he stays until 1973.
Anticipating the coming revolution in bank data processing, Jack Stephens deploys excess computing capacity at Union Life, which was owned by the Stephens family. With $400,000 in start-up capital, Stephens created Systematics, which would become a leader in the bank data processing industry. This relationship continued over 40 years, with Systematics eventually acquired by Alltel, and later acquired by Fidelity National Information Systems.
Stephens takes a small Arkansas-based discount retailer public. Not only does the capital help fund Walmart’s growth, it is part of a long and constructive partnership between Sam Walton and Jack — the kind of partnership Stephens continues to build with clients today.
Together with the First National Bank of Commerce, Stephens underwrites $113 million in municipal bonds to help build the Louisiana Superdome. At the time, this is the largest single municipal bond issue in the history of the Southern states.
The Stephens family invests in Worthen Banking Corporation. In April 1985, the bankruptcy of Bevill, Bresler & Schulman wipes out Worthen’s capital. Led by Jack Stephens, the shareholders provide the funds necessary to recapitalize the bank and keep it solvent.
Warren A. Stephens is named Chief Executive Officer of Stephens Inc., carrying on the tradition of family values and leadership begun by his father, Jack, and his uncle, Witt.
Stephens Insurance is established.
With Stephens’ guidance, Tyson Foods acquires Holly Farms for $1.5 billion in a hostile takeover.
Stephens Inc. becomes a member of the New York Stock Exchange.
Stephens invests in Viking Range, providing the growth capital needed to expand into a leading international brand.
Stephens purchases Donrey Media, renaming it Stephens Media Group. Today, SMG’s holdings include 11 daily newspapers, 64 weeklies, magazines, specialty publications and more than 100 websites operating in nine states.
The Private Client Group is established to serve the wealth management needs of high net worth families, and the first Stephens branch office is opened in Conway, AR.
Stephens has 24 offices in 13 states and London, England (through its London affiliate, Stephens Europe Limited).
Stephens invests in Hotchkis & Wiley, a leading Los Angeles- based investment management firm.
Stephens Investment Management Group (SIMG) is founded.
Warren Stephens acquires 100% of Stephens Inc.
Warren Stephens addresses the impact of the financial crisis in a memo to all Stephens employees. Click to read memo.
Stephens launches a new brand captured in a new tagline: Capitalize on Independence.
Warren A. Stephens, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stephens Inc., is a graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, where he received his BA in economics. He later received his MBA from Wake Forest University.
He began his investment banking career as an associate in the Corporate Finance Department at Stephens Inc. Later, he was Senior Vice President of the Capital Markets Group and was named President and Chief Executive Officer in 1986. In addition to his management responsibilities associated with Stephens Inc., he served on the NASD District Conduct Committee for three years finishing as its chairman. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dillard’s Inc. and is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Washington and Lee University and was co-chair of the successful Capital Campaign that concluded in June, 2015.
Active in community and civic affairs, he is a past chairman of the board of the Arkansas Arts Center and is currently a member of the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Board, as well as a former chairman. He is Chair of Episcopal Collegiate School Foundation Board and he served as chairman of the Capital Campaign to renovate the current theatre for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He also is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Central Arkansas Boys and Girls Club.
Born on February 18, 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, he and his wife, Harriet C. Stephens, have three children, Miles Stephens, John Stephens and Laura Stephens.
Mr. Bradbury is Chief Operating Officer and Director of Stephens Inc. He joined the firm in 1972 and has been COO of Stephens Inc. since 1995. In his current leadership position, Mr. Bradbury works with Chairman and CEO Warren Stephens in the development and execution of strategic initiatives and the daily operations of Stephens Inc.
Mr. Bradbury currently serves on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Board of Directors and is Chairman of the American Securities Association (ASA). He also sits on the American Enterprise Institute’s National Council. He formerly served on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly the NASD) District 5 Conduct Committee. He is former Advisory Director of the Export-Import Bank and a Director of the American Bankers Association. In the past, he has served as director of several publicly traded companies.He is widely regarded as a leader in the securities industry.
Mr. Bradbury holds an undergraduate degree in finance and a master's in economics from the University of Arkansas.
A native of Little Rock, Mr. Martin joined Stephens in 1981 after beginning his career in M&A with Morgan Stanley in New York. He has been involved in private equity for Stephens for more than 30 years, and has led the effort for the past ten years. Mr. Martin earned BA degrees, summa cum laude, in physics and economics from Vanderbilt University, where he was a varsity swimmer and football player and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received an MBA from Stanford University. Mr. Martin serves as a director of several portfolio companies, including publicly traded Conn's, Inc.
Mr. Doramus is Chief Financial Officer of Stephens Inc. He began his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Dallas, Texas, in 1980. He joined Trammell Crow Company in Dallas in 1983. In 1988, he joined the corporate finance department of Stephens Inc. and in 1996 was named Chief Financial Officer. He graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, with a degree in economics/business and received his master's in real estate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Our clients come first. It is this philosophy that ultimately enhances our reputation and profits. On the other side of every revenue-generating transaction, there is a customer who must be dealt with fairly and with the highest of ethical standards. On the other side of every investment are partners, fellow shareholders and a management team who deserve the most candid reflection of our thoughts, opinions and advice. In dealing with these varied interests honestly and fairly, we will build trust in our judgment and integrity. This will forge relationships, the likes of which have been, and will continue to be, the cornerstone of our success.
Extraordinary people create extraordinary companies, and we will make it our business to maintain relationships with as many extraordinary business people as is possible all over the world. From these relationships and from our commitment to the minimization of missed opportunities will come the future revenue flow of Stephens Inc. This is our corporate definition of “rain making” — extensive relationships and no missed opportunities.
Our long-term relationships, our strong capital position, our principal mentality, and the level of professionalism with which we approach decisions set us apart in the financial services industry.
With full awareness that many firms around us are in the process of developing massive scale, we define our future in terms of quality and profitability. This trend toward massive scale will make Stephens increasingly unique in our industry, and we will meet our competition with creativity, agility, integrity, intelligence and a commitment to exceptional execution.
We understand and appreciate that the most innovative and distinguished financiers in the history of the world have not always operated from the largest-scale platforms. As Stephens Inc. continues its tradition of producing some of the most exceptional financial minds in the country, our vision for ourselves will be realized.
Our investment banking and principal investing businesses operate in close organizational proximity. This is by design. We think and act like owners whether we are acting as principal or agent. We feel that this gives us a unique perspective in our business and creates distinctive opportunities for us and for our clients.
This approach has paid substantial dividends beyond return on investment. Many of our investments have become clients of our investment banking services, and many investments started out as investment banking clients. We will continue this course that differentiates Stephens Inc. within the securities industry. We are unique.
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