Company History

Established in 1917, Stern Brothers has been advising public and private decision makers on the best ways to fund their capital projects for 100 years.

Morris and Sigmund Stern immigrated to the United States from Germany at the end of the 19th century because their Bavarian village was too small to contain their dreams for a better life. Even as teenagers, the brothers knew that people who succeed in business create their own opportunities.

The Sterns settled in Sioux City, Iowa, and began working at a department store. They quickly realized they needed to start their own business if they wanted to get ahead. The brothers moved to the Kansas City area and developed a plan to buy large, inexpensive plots of land, which they divided into small parcels and sold to farmers. By 1917, they had accumulated $300,000 from their land deals.

The Sterns used the wealth they had accumulated to invest back into the Kansas City community that had enabled them to be successful. That was the seed money to found their investment banking firm — Stern Brothers. The Firm has indeed fulfilled the founders’ ideal of giving back their community. The financings Stern Brothers has been involved in read like a “Who’s Who” of Kansas City: Russell Stover Candies; Frank Paxton Lumber; the Employers Reinsurance Corporation; Rival Manufacturing; Cook Paint & Varnish Co.; and Gas Service Co.; as well as landmarks such as Kemper Arena, Truman Sports Complex and the Kansas City International Airport.

Over the ensuing 100 years, the company has grown from two original founders serving the Kansas City community to a firm with offices and employees across the United States.

In 1985 Gannon Securities bought the Firm. In 1989, Stern Brothers was purchased by Bingham and Company Capital Markets, a Missouri-based investment bank. Stern Brother’s storied history and reputation led the acquiring company to jettison the Bingham name in favor of Stern Brothers. From 1989 to 2010 there have been various shareholders. Since 2010 Peggy Finn, Chairperson & CEO, has been the sole shareholder. In January, 2011, the State of Missouri certified Stern Brothers as a WBE.

As we begin our second century, the original entrepreneurial spirit and diligence that drove Morris and Sigmund Stern is still evident at Stern Brothers today. It is this spirit that leads us to find innovative solutions for our clients, resulting in national recognition for our ability to provide not only financial capital, but intellectual capital as well. Just as they did well over ninety years ago, we look to a solid future of serving our clients with integrity as we help them achieve their financial goals and make their projects a reality.