Alex. Brown & Sons was the first investment bank in the United States, founded by Alexander Brown in 1800 in Baltimore, Maryland. The company was acquired by Bankers Trust in 1997 to form BT Alex. Brown, then merged with Deutsche Bank in 1999 after Deutsche acquired BT. In 2016, Raymond James acquired Deutsche's special customer services unit, which operates under Alex's management. Brown brand. Alexander Brown (1764-1834), an Irish linen merchant, emigrated in 1800 from Ballymena in Ulster to the United States, and settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where he founded the first investment banking company in the United States. In 1808, the company organized its first IPO in the United States, the Baltimore Water Company. in 1810, Alexander Brown was joined in the business by his sons, William, George, John, and James, and his company was named Alex. Brown & Sons, Inc. and by the 1820s, Alexander Brown had expanded his business interests to the Pound Exchange and international trade, including tobacco and cotton. Brown's sons eventually started related businesses in various locations, starting with William. William Brown & Co. was founded in Liverpool, England, which later became Brown, Shibley & Co. In 1818, John and James Brown began Bruce & Co. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. James then opened a branch in New York City in 1825, and previously remained for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. at the company's headquarters in Baltimore, where he took a leading role in the founding of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 2010. 1827. Upon the death of Alexander Brown in 1834, George became Alex's boss. Brown & Sons, which declared itself "America's first international banking institution in the 19th century." After the panic of 1837, Alex. Brown & Sons withdrew from most of its lending business and chose to focus on currency exchange, investment banking, and international trade.