Wiggin, Albert H.

Wiggin, Albert H. (Henry)

(1868–1951) banker; born in Medfield, Mass. After several Boston-area jobs in banking, he became vice-president of the National Park Bank in New York City (1899–1904). There he helped organize the Banker's Trust Company (1903). In 1904 he became the youngest vice-president in the history of Chase National Bank; by 1911 he was president; in 1917 he chaired the board; in 1930 he chaired the governing board. Under his leadership the Chase National Bank grew to one of the world's largest. Circumventing regulations that prohibited commercial banks from trust business, he established the Mercantile Trust Company; to handle stocks and bonds he established the Chase Securities Corporation (both in 1917). He enhanced his and the bank's position by serving on 59 corporate boards, and arranged seven mergers, the largest of which was with the Equitable Trust Company. His reputation was damaged by a Congressional probe (1933), which found that Chase, like other banks, circumvented the law through its affiliates, and that Wiggin had used his "official and fiduciary position for private profit." He was sued by stockholders and chose to settle out of court.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.