Walter L. Morgan (1898-1998) was an American investment manager and entrepreneur who founded Wellington Management Company, one of the largest and most respected asset management firms in the world. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Morgan attended Princeton University and graduated in 1920 with a degree in economics.
Morgan began his career in finance as a securities analyst at Guaranty Trust Company in New York City. After gaining valuable experience in the industry, he moved back to Pennsylvania and established his own investment advisory firm, W.L. Morgan & Company, in 1928. The firm focused on providing investment advice to wealthy individuals and families in the region.
In 1929, Walter L. Morgan launched the Wellington Fund, a balanced fund that combined stocks and bonds, making it one of the first mutual funds in the United States. The fund was named after the Duke of Wellington, who famously defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Morgan believed that the Wellington Fund's diversified investment approach would help it withstand market volatility, much like the Duke of Wellington's resilience on the battlefield.
During the Great Depression, the Wellington Fund managed to survive the market turmoil, largely due to Morgan's conservative investment approach, which emphasized capital preservation and income generation. This helped to establish the fund's reputation as a reliable and stable investment vehicle, attracting more investors over time.
In 1951, Morgan merged his investment advisory firm with another firm founded by four former MIT classmates, creating the Wellington Management Company. The new firm continued to build on the success of the Wellington Fund, launching new funds and expanding its investment offerings to serve a wider range of clients.
Walter L. Morgan retired from active management in 1967 but continued to serve as a trustee for the Wellington funds until the age of 90. Throughout his career, Morgan was known for his strong commitment to conservative investment principles, rigorous research, and client-focused approach. His legacy lives on through the continued success of Wellington Management Company, which has grown into one of the world's largest and most respected asset management firms, managing over $1 trillion in assets.