Obstacles to the Merger
As Jim drove back to New York with Archie from the merger meeting at Wally's home, Jim voiced some reservations about what had been agreed to, but Jim had no answer when Archie asked him to suggest an alternative.
On Monday, a meeting of the Glore Forgan executive committee was convened. Some were present in person, some tied in by phone.
When Archie described the proposed terms of the merger, all who had not been at Wally's home were indignant. Unalterably opposed. Harry Colmery, the West Coast regional manager, said he was going to have great difficulty preventing the top brokers in his offices from leaving. They looked down on Francis I. duPont as a "wire house." This was a derogatory term meaning that all it did was connect passive brokers in distant offices to The New York Stock Exchange. Glore Forgan Staats in contrast was a tightly knit organization whose brokers actively sold stocks the firm underwrote or acquired in large blocks. (Remember how the intended merger of Hayden, Stone with Walston, described in Chapter 3, was derailed by the Hayden, Stone brokers?)
In addition, Harry felt his office managers were not going to like reporting directly to Wally.
Archie parried thrusts against the merger with wordiness that could be reduced to what he had earlier said to Jim: Suggest an alternative.
The meeting broke up without a decision.1
Over at Francis I. duPont, Edmond duPont and Wally Latour easily persuaded the other top duPont partners that the merger would be advantageous. The partners salivated over the possibility of duPont becoming a major underwriter.