Dillon, Clarence - from United States

ID: 34527
Organization: CFR-M
Country of meeting: in the year 1922

Financier, and namesake of Dillon, Read & Co., an investment bank. In 1957, Fortune Magazine listed Dillon as one of the richest men in the United States, with a fortune then estimated to be from $150 to $200 million.

In 1912, Dillon met William A. Read, founder of the Wall Street bond broker firm William A. Read & Company through an introduction by his Harvard classmate, William A. Phillips. Dillon joined Read's Chicago office in that year, later moving to the firm's New York office in 1914. Following Read's death in 1916, Dillon bought a majority interest in the firm and was chosen to head the company. In 1921, the company's name was changed to Dillon, Read & Co.

In 1921, Dillon focused on the beleaguered Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company which was in receivership. He succeeded in crafting a settlement with Goodyear's bankers, creditors, and stockholders as was raising more than $100 million in funding in an extremely difficult credit market. In 1925, only four years later, Dillon bought the Dodge Brothers Company for $146 million in cash which was the largest such transaction in industrial history at the time. After the acquisition of Dodge, Dillon merged the company with the Chrysler Corporation in 1927 resulting in Chrysler's becoming one of the Big three in the automobile industry.

A number of Dillon, Read & Co. partners served in senior roles in government, including Dillon and his right-hand man, James Forrestal, who served as Secretary of the Navy, and later, Secretary of Defense. During World War I, Bernard Baruch, Chairman of the War Industries Board, (known as the Czar of American Industry) asked Dillon to be Assistant Chairman of the War Industries Board.


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