Seven generations of success
Since 1857, the Richardson family has built a strong reputation for entrepreneurship, stability and achievement. Today, our iconic name is synonymous with intergenerational wealth.
Our name has always been known for integrity, trust, leadership and excellence; and to this day we are still driven by the same pioneering spirit.~ James Richardson
A Canadian success story
The history of James Richardson and the company he started over 160 years ago is fascinating, surprising and truly inspiring. The firm has risen above the Great Depression and two world wars while remaining ahead of economic hardship and strong competition. Along the way, it has broken new ground in the business world and grown stronger with each passing generation .
Our story begins in 1857 when James Richardson, a tailor by trade, founded a grain merchandising operation in Kingston, Ontario, called James Richardson & Sons Limited (JRSL). The company’s first elevator set a new standard for grain terminals with its expedited handling and loading capabilities. By 1867, JRSL was shipping grain to the U.S. and in the 1880s, Richardson No. 1 was the first major elevator to handle western Canadian-grown grain.
After James Richardson’s death in 1892, his grandson, James A. Richardson, took the helm. In the 1920s, he decided to move into investment securities. Although JRSL’s stock brokering business was started just before the Great Depression, it was one of the few that persevered through the economic turmoil of the 1930s while others floundered.
The shy baroness of brokerage
James A. Richardson passed away suddenly in 1939 and his widow, Muriel Richardson, succeeded him as President of JRSL. The first woman to head a large corporation, she set the standard for all who followed. With Canada at war, JRSL assured the job security of personnel volunteering for military service and lent its expertise to the war effort. When WWII ended, Muriel Richardson instituted a pension plan – years in advance of other Canadian companies – and put in place a group insurance plan along with other employee benefits.
By 1966, the brokerage business began operating as Richardson Securities of Canada and extended operations to 35 branches in Ontario, the Maritimes, and other provinces. International offices were opened in U.S. cities such as New York and Chicago while expansion reached as far overseas as Geneva, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and the Caribbean.
Mergers and acquisitions
In 1982, Richardson Securities merged with Greenshields Inc. and created Richardson Greenshields of Canada, making it the country’s largest investment dealer in terms of national and international presence at the time. Many changes followed, including the transfer of headquarters to Toronto and the adoption of a highly successful employee share purchase plan. Richardson Greenshields became one of the most coveted assets in the securities industry, and in 1996, it was sold to a major Canadian bank.
A bold return
Realizing a need in Canada for improved family wealth management, the Richardsons returned to the financial services industry in 2003 with the successful launch of Richardson Financial Group, operating as two distinct companies: Richardson Partners Financial Limited and Richardson Financial Group Limited.
Birth of a new name
Richardson Wealth emerged in 2020 after a series of corporate transactions over several years involving its predecessor firm, Richardson GMP. Today, Richardson Wealth continues to provide access to advisors who are among the finest investment professionals in Canada, delivering exclusive wealth management and innovative investment services.
Forging new horizons
We leverage the knowledge and experience that comes with having a long history, while, at the same time, we confidently and responsibly trailblaze our way into the future.