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St. Louis, Missouri – May 2, 2017 – In 1957, the Ford Fairlane was the country’s best-selling car, gas cost about 25 cents per gallon – and Zeke McIntyre opened Edward Jones’ first branch office in Mexico, MO. Today, the Fairlane is just a memory, 25 cents might buy a tenth of a gallon of gas – and Edward Jones’ 43,000 associates include 15,000 financial advisors serving more than 7 million clients from more than 13,000 branch offices across North America. But 60 years ago, in May of 1957, Zeke McIntrye was the first, and the firm is celebrating this milestone.
Edward Jones was actually founded in 1922, but up until 1957, all its financial advisors were housed in one office in St. Louis. The opening of Zeke McIntyre’s office launched a new phase for the firm, permanently transforming the way in which investors receive financial advice from Edward Jones.
"Since we opened our first branch office 60 years ago, establishing trusted relationships with our clients has been critical to our success," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Jim Weddle. "Providing tailored solutions and a high level of service has enabled us to grow to more than 13,000 locations and we are excited to offer our services to a new generation of clients as we enter the next 60 years."
The firm has come a long way since Ted Jones, son of the firm’s founder, met McIntyre and encouraged him to open the first branch office, located in a coat closet of an accounting firm situated above Scott’s Five & Dime Store.
"I remember my dad telling us about trying this 'experiment.' It seemed like a good opportunity," said Bill McIntyre, Zeke McIntyre's son. "It really was the American Dream and a good example of somebody with a good idea who acted on it and it became successful. Zeke and Ted Jones had very similar personalities and were down-to-earth people. I think he liked Ted and thought it would be a great working relationship. I'm sure neither of them envisioned there would be this many other offices today."
The firm has not forgotten its humble beginnings, but continues to look toward the future – with no signs of taking its foot off the gas. As has been the case for the last six decades, Edward Jones' success will be fueled by its growing numbers of financial advisors, growth in clients being deeply served and continued focus on ensuring clients’ interests always come first.
McIntyre's pioneering spirit led Edward Jones to name one of its most coveted awards the Zeke McIntyre Pioneer Award, which recognizes financial advisors who achieve high levels of success early in their careers. The award is given annually to a select group of financial advisors during regional meetings with their peers and families.
McIntyre was an inaugural member of the Edward Jones Hall of Fame, which honors special individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the firm. In its inaugural year, the Hall of Fame recognizes those who have helped shape our firm and who have been most responsible for our success with bronze sculptures placed in the firm's St. Louis-based headquarters.
Recipients embody our values, our culture and our spirit of caring by routinely making a difference in the lives of others. In a way, these are individuals whose fingerprints can be found all over the firm because they have fundamentally helped to create it.