|Founded||April 26, 1876|
|Eamonn Glancy (COO)|
Goodbody Stockbrokers is Ireland's longest established stockbroking firm with roots dating back to 1877. As well as being one of the leading institutional brokers, it is one of the largest private client firms in Ireland. It is a member firm of the Irish Stock Exchange and a SETS participant of the London Stock Exchange. The company has offices in Dublin, London, Galway, Tralee and Cork. It employs 222 people and owns 26.2 per cent of the Irish Stock Exchange.
Ireland has two large (one of which is Goodbody), and half a dozen medium-sized brokerages. A report by the Central Bank of Ireland in January 2013 warned there will have to be mergers of firms to ensure the industry survives, but this process will have to be done in a controlled way--because any instability in the sector could pose a danger to many people's savings, and prevent new businesses from raising money at a time when banks are not lending. The business is "doing okay", its largest shareholder said. From time to time, there are rumours that Fexco is looking at selling its share, but no sooner do they surface than they are scotched.
The Goodbody family had ventured in milling, tobacco, and manufacturing. In 1807, Robert Goodbody married into the Pim family, who had investments in shipping, insurance, banking, mining, and railways. Robert would set up a milling company of his own and would father 5 sons, all of whom would set up relatively successful businesses. One of those sons, Marcus, married Hannah Perry, daughter of James Perry, a successful businessman with investments in iron, railways, and brewing. Their first child, Robert would go on to found the Goodbody Stockbroking company. Robert originally passed the bar exam, and married into the Pim family, like his grandfather. The Pim family, however, did not like the idea of their daughter marrying a lawyer, so, Goodbody embarked on a career in stockbroking.
On 13 November 1874, Goodbody attended a meeting of the Dublin Stock Exchange, and his license to start his business was approved. Two years later, on 26 April 1876, Robert's cousin, Jonathan, joined him to form R&J Goodbody.
In 1855, Robert would depart Ireland for New York City, and R&J Goodbody was dissolved. Jonathan became partners with Theodore Richard Webb, a fellow Quaker, to create Goodbody & Webb. In New York, Robert would partner with Charles Dow, forming Goodbody, Glynn & Dow. Dow would go on to found the Wall Street Journal. By 1891, both men would part ways. Robert would start his own firm entitled Robert Goodbody & Co, which would become the fifth largest brokerage firm in the United States, before being bought by Merrill Lynch in 1971.
Jonathan would retire from Goodbody & Webb in 1928, being succeeded by his son, Denis, along with his cousin, Jack Freeman. Denis would remain a Dublin Stock Exchange partner until 1970. Freeman was chairman of the Provincial Bank of Ireland, which joined with Munster and Leinster to form Allied Irish Banks. In 1974, Goodbody & Webb became the first Irish firm to open an office in London.
Goodbody & Webb would merge with Wilkinson & Faulkner and be renamed to Goodbody & Wilkinson. In 1985, the firm would merge with Dudgeon, becoming Goodbody Dudgeon. The firm found a UK partner, James Capel, who would purchase a 40% stake in the firm. James Capel was the broking subsidiary of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank. In 1990, the company would change names yet again, this time to Goodbody Stockbrokers, following a purchase by AIB Capital Markets.
In 2010, Goodbody was acquired by FEXCO for EUR24 million. The Financial Times commented that the lowly price tag placed on Ireland's oldest stockbroker and "one-time bastion of Ireland's Protestant business elite" was just another measure of the dramatic decline of the Irish economy.Allied Irish Banks were likely to have had to indemnify Fexco, the new majority owners of Goodbody Stockbrokers, against any legal action arising from the firm's boom-time trading. The deal saw the broker's own management take a 25 per cent stake in the business. Today, of the original 19th-century brokerage firms, only Goodbody has survived.
A Northern Ireland property fund which was launched by Goodbody in 2005 had its value of investments written down to nil in 2009. A solicitor said the fund invested in residential property, even though his client had said she did not want any exposure to residential property. The stockbrokers made £1.1 million in commission from the £27 million put up by investors at the outset.
The broker was ridiculed publicly in 2007 after it told its clients to buy an American pharma stock at $3.09 and gave it a price target of $5.70. Less than a week later, it was recommending that the same clients sell the same stock when it was trading at $0.83.
In May 2010 the EU began investigating claims that AIB misused state aid by attaching conditions to loan deals, unfairly affecting competition in the Irish stockbroking market but benefiting Goodbody.
In the 2011 Extel Survey, Goodbody Stockbrokers took 4 of the 7 awards on offer for Ireland, taking 2 of the 4 company awards and 2 of the 3 individual awards.
In the 2011 Starmine Awards, the Food and Beverage Analyst Liam Igoe, of Goodbody, was ranked 6th in the Top 10 Earnings Estimators in Europe.