Firm ■ History
Cooke & Bieler was founded in Philadelphia by Louis Bieler in 1949, and with the arrival of Jay Cooke in 1951 was legally established as Cooke & Bieler, Inc.
Early on, the firm managed assets primarily for wealthy Philadelphians. With only a few independent investment advisory firms in Philadelphia, Cooke & Bieler’s business steadily grew in the 1950s, reaching $100 million under management by 1962. At that point, 90% of the firm’s income was attributed to individual portfolios. By the time of Jay Cooke’s death in 1963, the firm had attained its first pension account.
New professionals joined in the 1960s and early 1970s as Cooke & Bieler grew steadily and developed resources for building its budding institutional business. Following Louis Bieler’s retirement, six partners bought the firm in 1973. By this time, more than half of the firm’s assets under management were institutional.
Cooke & Bieler experienced strong growth for many years and in 1986, Cooke & Bieler was sold to United Asset Management, a publicly traded company located in Boston. UAM’s autonomous approach to investment firm ownership was appealing to the owners and the transaction ensured the firm’s future. However in 2000, UAM was acquired by Old Mutual, an overseas insurance company. In June 2001, Cooke & Bieler, L.P. once again became independent upon completion of its management led 100% buy-back of the firm.
Cooke & Bieler’s success continues as the firm delivers service and performance through a seasoned team of professionals committed to the same “high quality, low risk” investment approach that has distinguished the firm throughout its history.
For an in-depth look, please see our Cooke & Bieler History Booklet.