Member Spotlight: Brendan Morrow

I was drafted into the Army in 1950 and discharged in 1952. I went job hunting in 1953 and started work with Bethlehem Steel on March 1, 1953.  Bethlehem Steel started doing its own stock transfer, record keeping, annual meeting mailing and tabulating in the early 1920’s. When I started, I stepped into that role.  About that same time, computers were just coming on-line.  Bethlehem split their common stock 4 for 1 in 1957 and by necessity started using computers with a room full of machines. Today, I think the work being done in that room could be done on a laptop.

 

I joined the CTA/SSA in the 1960’s.  The 60’s were a time of change.  The Stock Exchange was computerizing and the Depository Trust company (CEDE) was trying to get off the ground.  The CTA/SSA had a lot of input in shaping CEDE.  In 1978 Charlie Carmelich was President of the CTA/SSA and I was the Treasurer.  In 1976 Bethlehem Steel moved our department from 25 Broadway, New York City to their headquarters in Bethlehem Pennsylvania where I worked for 24 years.


In 1980 I became the President of the CTA/SSA. In 1981 Bethlehem Steel gave the transfer and record keeping business to Morgan Guaranty in a cost cutting move.  As part of the cost cutting move, we down sized to an assistant and myself.  I became Manager of Investor Services where I stayed until June 30, 1992, when I retired.


While I was President of the CTA/SSA the SEC decided to write some new Annual Meeting rules.  In 1981 they decided to add more voting lines to the proxy.  They wanted a separate line for each Director. This would add another 12 or 15 lines which added to the tabulation bill. When we complained they invited us to Washington to explain.  I represented the CTA/SSA, Claude Palmer the STA, and Nick Biggs the American Society of Corporate Secretaries. It turned out the SEC knew how to regulate the annual meeting but were clueless when it came to running the meeting.  They settled for on additional line, the withhold vote line.  In the early 90’s the NYSE created an investors communication committee.  Jimmy Smith and I represented the STA/CTA/SSA on that committee until I retired in 1992.

 

When I retired from Bethlehem Steel I did some consulting with Dave Pitou, a past President of the CTA/SSA. I also helped audit when the Phoenix Mutual Insurance went public.  Morrow & Co. (no relation) was asked by New York State to audit the exchange.  Morrow & Co asked George Pabst, another past president of CTA/SSA, to cover the audit and I joint George’s team. 

 

My wife, Dorothy and I have been married 60 years this year.  We have 6 daughters all married.  I like to brag that, if I was looking for 6 guys to hang around with and have a good time, I could not have done a better job than my daughters in selecting their husbands. We have 24 grandchildren and one great grandson.

 


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