History and Evolution of the American Express Company

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Building a company from the ground up is no easy feat, but keeping it afloat through changing economic times is a task only a few businesses master. American Express Company, known similarly as AmEx/Amex, has been around since the mid-1850’s and continues to grow. With a global presence and financial products for just about everyone, AmEx continues to plow through the opposition, creating a path for everyone else to follow in. American Express Company American Express (AmEx) came into existence as an express mail business in Albany, NY during the 1850’s. Founded as a joint stock corporation by merging the express companies of Wells & Company, Livingston, Fargo & Company, and Wells, Butterfield & Company, AmEx set up its headquarters in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan where it enjoyed its monopoly on the movement of goods throughout New York. AmEx eventually moved their headquarters to 65 Broadway in Manhattan which was fast becoming the financial district in New York, a location that would not suit them for long due to their rapidly expanding size. Not wanting to be known as a one-trick pony, AmEx first dipped its feet into the financial services pool during 1882 by introducing its money order business in attempt to rival that of the United States Post Office. Fueled by a frustrating trip to Europe where J.C. Fargo, president of AmEx at the time, could not obtain cash except in large cities, AmEx later introduced the traveler’s cheques in 1891 in denominations of $10, $20, $50, and $100. Ten years later, AmEx was selling more than $6 million annually in cheques. When World War I erupted in Europe in 1914, it left over 150,000 Americans stranded and without access to cash since the banks refused to pay against an... ... middle of paper ... ..., but internally they were taking steps to avoid the economic issues looming on the horizon. 9/11 changed America forever, and it also changed AmEx. Even with the tragedy that unfolded, AmEx operations continued sans interruption. Employees pulled together to meet the needs of countless customers the world over who had nowhere else to turn. AmEx continued to be tested in the coming months following 9/11, but the entire organization pushed forward not only honoring the companies tradition to provide extraordinary customer service, but raising the bar even higher. Every setback that AmEx has encountered throughout its 160 year history has allowed it to become even stronger. By constantly adapting to the ever-changing financial landscape while continuing to provide world-class services to its customers, AmEx continues to prove it is here for the long haul.

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