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Business History - Essay Example

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Nothing is really impossible if you just put your heart to it. A fine example of that is the story of two prominent industrialists that left indelible footprints in the sands of time in business history.
Born in Forres, Scotland on August 6, 1820, Donald Alexander Smith is the 1st Baron of Strathcona and Mount Royal, Hudson Bay's Company (HBC) officer, business man, politician, diplomat and philanthropist…
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Business History
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Download file to see previous pages Smith's strong will coupled with his hard working attitude made him a successful man. His Canadian Office was in fact nicknamed as "The Light House" because the windows are frequently illuminated long after the remainder of the street was in darkness. On the other hand, Cooke's efficiency, friendliness and competence have impressed many businessmen which enabled him to climb in the corporate ladder of success. "He developed his skills rapidly, writing to his older brother at one point, 'I am getting to be a good judge of bank notes, can tell counterfeits at sight, and know all nearly the broken banks in the United States of America...' By the age of twenty-one Cooke was a full partner in the banking house..." (Frey 58).
Smith had made his way to his fortune with the use of his persuasive skills and political connections. "He used his influence as an HBC officer and bribes to attempt a peaceful settlement..." (Redford 940). It was also said that, "Smith profited from his position in the HBC to survey business opportunities both for the company and for himself" (Redford 941). Smiths numerous personal business endeavours put a stress in his career at HBC (Hudson's Bay Company). "Undoubtedly, Smith's business ventures distracted him from his management of the HBC's affairs. He received periodic rebukes From Governor Sir Stafford Henry Northcote who complained that he had to report on land sales based on information gleaned from newspapers" (Redford 942). Smith was also said to have neglected the fur trade. William Joseph Christie, inspecting chief factor of the HBC reported to the London committee on the slack management of the company's affairs. Christie resigned his job when no action was taken on his information. Conversely, Jay Cooke first gained the attention of the banking industry when he marketed $3 million of Pennsylvania's bond issue. The state was in dire straits, it is indebted by $40 million. Cooke created a marketing strategy that made the bonds oversubscribe in less than a month. He sent agents all over the state and drafted circulars, pamphlets and posters emphasizing the patriotic need for the subscription of the issue. The proceeds of the bond issue were to be used as a necessary capital to win the war. Mr Cooke capitalized patriotism in selling the bonds.
It can also be observed that Smith was politically active. It is but understandable why it seems this way, after all any political/high organizational position entails power that may be used to prosper or obliterate a business. Through these connections he was able to meet new business partners, engage in another business venture and gain more money. "Smith began a political career representing Winnepig-St John in the Manitoba legislature 1870-1874 and Selkirk in the House of Commons 1871-78" (Farr). Whereas, Cooke served the government as Ohio's financial adviser and he also helped develop sound fiscal policies during the American Civil War.
In spite of Smith's hard work and achievements, a shadowy figure of him lurks ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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