Term Paper American Express

2911 words - 12 pages

American Express is a worldwide, trusted, reliable company with an amazing history and founders. The company was an express delivery business, which grew to become one of the largest companies we know today. According to research, an express company was responsible for transporting valuable goods and money. American Express is world’s #1 travel service organization. They serve customers all over the globe with approximately 1,800 offices worldwide. American Express distinguishes themselves from other companies with their unique charge cards and well-known Traveler’s Cheques. The company has made it possible for customers to be able to go “anywhere and spend money without ...view middle of the document...

The company was founded on the values of Trust, Security, Vigilance and Service leading the company’s first logos to be a watchdog. The watchdog symbolized the company was trusted by their customers to safely transport their money and packages.
In the early 1850’s, Wells & Co., Livingston & Fargo and Butterfield, Wasson & Co., entered into negotiations making the three companies into two companies. These companies became ‘Wells, Butterfield & Co.’ and ‘Livingston & Fargo & Co’- however, they all were “comprised in a joint stock concern” (Advameg) which was known as The American Express Company. Wells & Fargo made an initial investment of $150,000; they then continued to make plans to take over the express shipping business along the East Coast. Henry Wells served as the company’s first President and William G. Fargo served as the company’s Vice President.
American Express headquartered in New York along the waterways of the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, which was the main location for shipping goods by large boat (steamer) or smaller flat-bottomed boats. Wells & Fargo did not want to only stay along the waterways and so made negotiations with smaller companies that made deliveries by the growing rail system. American Express wanted to stay on top of the competition, so they bought the smaller competing companies and added “their contracts and travel lines to their own.” (Advameg) Wells & Fargo were enjoying their success; they knew that they had to stay on top of things so they wanted to offer more services to their customers. Gold was just found in California along with their entry into the Union, so they began to look West for ways to grow their company nationwide. In 1852, both founders also started ‘Wells Fargo & Co.’ by putting together $300,000- when Butterfield and other directors objected to the proposal that American Express extend its operations to California. The other partners didn’t believe they should move West so quickly. The same services were offered to customers on the West Coast through Wells Fargo & Co.
The company kept its doors open during the Civil War. The company had increased deliveries because they were shipping documents, supplies and money to soldiers around the country along with other sister companies. In 1968, American Express merged with Merchants Union Express and formed American Merchants Union Express Company because they posed serious threat to the company after having a loss in 1967. Instead of being beat by another company, they decided to join forces.
New Era
In 1973, the company’s president, Henry Wells decided it was time to retire and the throne was taken over by his longtime friend and business partner, William Fargo. The company’s name went back to The American Express Company, under the reign of Fargo. His brother, James Fargo, served as the company’s Vice President and began to take the company down a new path- going overseas. In the early 1870’s, James Fargo, founded a company for large...

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