Laidlaw Group, LLC was founded in 1998 by David K. Laidlaw and his father, Robert S. Laidlaw; however, the history of the firm extends back further.
Francis Welch, David Laidlaw’s great-grandfather, moved from Boston to Bedford, New York to work on Wall Street in 1916. He acquired a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and became Hayden Stone’s (a precursor firm to Smith Barney) first floor broker where he worked until his retirement in the late 1930s.
Immigrating to the country from Scotland in the 1920s, David K. Laidlaw, the founder’s grandfather for whom he was named, worked with Stone & Webster due to his background in naval engineering. Transitioning within the firm to portfolio management, he later served as the lead investment manager to General Public Utilities, a closed-end mutual fund, until the Second World War.
After graduating from Yale in 1958, Robert Laidlaw joined his uncle, John Welch (Francis’ son), at J. R. Williston & Beane. After spending the first 10 years of his career on the sell-side, Robert joined EW Axe & Co. in 1969. EW Axe operated as a buy-side investment manager to families, institutions and mutual funds. In 1985, Robert left EW Axe to start his own firm with William Fissell. Robert’s client-base included families and pension plans with whom he worked at Axe.
David Laidlaw joined his father at Fissell Laidlaw in 1995 after graduating from Rutgers School of Law. Three years later, Robert and David founded Laidlaw Group in 1998. Robert retired in 2000 and David Laidlaw has been the sole owner of the firm since that time.
Many client relationships of the firm have endured over 40 years and the firm continues to work with some families over multiple generations. The firm also maintains its heritage of serving individuals, trusts and institutional clients including, more recently, investment advisors that utilize Laidlaw Group for separate account management.