The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Sandy Weill bounces back

Last month's announced merger of bulge-bracket firm Salomon Brothers with brokerage Smith Barney creates something bigger than Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. But the chairman of its parent, Travelers Group, may have overreached himself as he triggers another culture clash on Wall Street. By Michelle Celarier.

"It clicked right off the bat"

Has Sandy Weill torn up his own rulebook and forgotten the lessons of the past? The Travelers Group chairman, who last month announced a $9 billion merger between his firm's giant US brokerage arm Smith Barney and Salomon Brothers, certainly surprised those who knew him in previous incarnations at Shearson and American Express.

Hardwick Simmons, formerly at Shearson, now chief executive of Prudential Securities, says the deal "violates two great rules Sandy taught us: 'Always buy when nobody else wants to, and never put your earnings in the hands of a trader'." Weill shied away from taking trading risks "because events out of your control can determine your destiny," says Simmons. "He got very nervous when we had significant capital positions."

Weill chuckles, hearing his past comments come back to haunt him. "My views have changed because the world is changing and one has to change with it," he says, citing the fall of communism and the rise of privatization. "We've grown up."

Smith Barney chief executive James Dimon, co-chief executive of the future Salomon Smith Barney, insists that a new era is dawning: "We have accepted this kind of risk," he says, elaborating on the concept of risk and return.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree