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American Express – Company of the Month – November 2020

Company name: American Express

Founders: Henry Wells, William G. Fargo and John Butterfield

Year: 1850

Total Assets: US$ 188.602 billion

Revenue: US$ 43.556 billion

Net Income: US$ 6.921 billion

Country:  USA

Headquarter: New York City

Industry: Banking, Financial Service


Number of employees: 59,000


While the customer public is aware of American Express for its ubiquitous plastic, the company is more than its line of credit cards and Roman gladiators that embellish them. The company, which commenced over 150 years in the past as an explicit mail commercial enterprise installation to serve a swiftly increasing nation, has emerged as a diverse goliath and, after going via numerous incarnations for the duration of its existence, presently operates via 4 foremost units: U.S. Card Services, International Card Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Network & Merchant Services. In 2008, the corporation became a financial institution conserving agency which will acquire a mortgage from the U.S. government’s TARP program. American Express repaid that $3.9 billion mortgage in 2009. In 2010, the corporation had a comeback of 12 months of sorts, earning $4.1 billion in internet income, almost double what it banked in 2009. Since 2001, American Express has been led with the aid of CEO Kenneth Chenault, possibly the maximum outstanding African-American leader in the country. As of March 2011, the corporation had extra than 62,000 employees.

Since its early years, Amex has switched from explicit mail to a company with a various array of offerings. Notable amongst them was Amex’s growth into the cash order commercial enterprise which will compete with the U.S. Post Office in the 1890s. This ultimately caused the advent of the Traveler’s Cheque a decade later while J. C. Fargo (brother of founder William Fargo) found that he had vast issues acquiring cash in Europe in spite of being president of the main agency. Traveler’s Cheques instituted Amex as a global giant, and their popularity in Europe soared once they have become one of the few organizations to honor letters of credit held with the aid of using Americans for the duration of the First World War.

ewfeweAmerican Express commenced its foray into the profitable credit score card enterprise in the 1950s with the travel-and-entertainment card: the Green Card. The plastic cards (Amex became the primary to apply the ISO/IEC 7810 plastic for his or her playing cards, which has to see that emerge as the standard) have become a large hit in the booming post-conflict economy. In an innovative move, American Express purposefully charged extra than Diners Club, their number one competitors, in a bid to be visible as a better fine product.

Amex created the Gold Card in 1966 and the Platinum Card in 1984, organizing absolutely described marketplace segments and the use of better fees and costs to cater to wealthier, better profile customers than their competitors, positioning theirs as a ‘premium’ service. In the end, Amex’s records of promoting exclusivity, culminating with the ultra-mysterious, ultra-extraordinary invitation-handiest Centurion Card, or Black Card– paid off; Amex now debts for almost 1/4 of the whole greenback quantity of credit card transactions in the U.S., and the credit cards had released American Express into many years of extraordinary growth.

With the highest-spending cardholders’ in the enterprise, the 159-years old agency has determined in the latest years to shed the most important commercial enterprise traces and awareness on its strength: the credit card. The Minneapolis-primarily based totally American Express Financial Advisors—comprising more than 12,000 economic advisors and the Platinum Financial Services group which became spun off in September 2005 as an impartial publicly traded agency, Ameriprise Financial, indexed at the New York Stock Exchange under the name AMP. Amex shareholders obtained all of the common shares of Ameriprise under the phrases of the spin-off, with one proportion of Ameriprise not common shares for every 5 stocks of Amex, not common shares outstanding.

More recently, in early 2008, American Express Bank became bought by Standard Chartered. American Express Bank became Amex’s global financial institution which presented economic offerings for rich people and different banks outdoors in the United States. The agency published a robust display in 2010; welcome symptoms and symptoms of recuperation after the extreme blows sustained for the duration of the stormy financial weather of 2008. In 2010, American Express pronounced sales of $25.612 billion, up from $24.5 billion, with internet income, overall assets, and overall fairness additionally rising. And because the agency keeps refining its commercial enterprise version in an enhancing financial landscape, the outlook for 2011 and the past is.

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