Finance: Good Night, Lee Hig

In a third-floor boardroom of Boston's State Street Bank Building, directors of the Lee Higginson Corp. grimly debated for eight hours the future of their firm—oldest and one of the most famous of U.S. investment houses. When they finally arrived at a decision, Lee Higginson was dead. For an "undisclosed amount," Manhattan's relatively youthful (age 74), fast-growing (60 branches) Hayden, Stone Inc. bought Lee Higginson's name (which it will not use), offices and assets in Boston, New York, Chicago and four other cities.

In its heyday, "Lee Hig" was one of the kingpins of finance both in the U.S. and...

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