Southern Methodist University

Merz Peters investment research collection

A Guide



Overview

Creator: Peters, Merz K.
Title: Merz Peters investment research collection
Dates: 1906-2014
Abstract: Merz K. Peters was a financial analyst for Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Stock Exchange in New York City during the last half of the twentieth century. This collection contains Brown Brothers Harriman historical files, energy industry subject files, business correspondence, annual reports, and investment reports. Researchers interested in the history of the oil industry will find materials from the early 1920s-2000s.
Accession No: MSS 108
Extent: 20 boxes (21 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Merz K. Peters was born in 1934 in St. Petersburg, Florida and named for his father’s boyhood friend in western Kansas. He decided on a career in business while business manager of his high school newspaper in Washington, D.C. In order to have a scientific and technical background, he majored in Industrial Administration in the School of Engineering at Yale University, receiving a B.S. degree with Highest Honors in 1955. Admitted directly from college, he received a M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School in 1957. Merz fulfilled his military obligation with a direct commission in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, managing the world’s largest commissary store in Alexandria, Virginia 1957-1959.

In late 1959 Merz joined the distinguished private banking firm of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.(BBH) in New York City. As the practice of securities analysis emerged as a recognized profession, Merz took part in the development of the Chartered Financial Analyst program, now the global brand in the investment business. He was among the first group, in 1966, to earn the CFA charter by successfully passing three annual examinations. Merz later helped to write and grade the exams. He was a member of the Corporate Information Committee, a decades long joint effort by the financial industry and business community to improve the availability of enhanced sophisticated information that is vital for the benefit of both.

At BBH, Merz was responsible for analysis of five major industries accounting for more than half of the market value of all U.S. common stocks. He assisted with a new diversification system for portfolio management, created innovative relative valuation techniques, and trained and managed analysts in fifteen industries. He established wide contacts throughout industries, governments and academic institutions, and intensified service to institutional clients in the U.S. and Europe.

From 1966 he followed the energy industries, later forming and directing a unique Energy Group, which resulted in improved investment decisions and significant fee income from consulting studies for companies and governments. He aided substantial growth in the firm’s profits by a new business thrust into the Middle East. He was named a Manager of the firm in 1973. Merz served his profession as president of the Oil Analysts Group of New York, 1977, and president of the National Association of Petroleum Investment Analysts, 1984-1985.

In 1983 Merz established Merz K. Peters & Associates, Inc. to apply analytical techniques in independent investment research and management, investment banking, venture capital and financial public relations. Clients included large European financial institutions and privately owned companies. Merz was a consultant to the chairman of a major oil company, and for about two decades served as consulting analyst in several capacities for the American Stock Exchange. He raised funds for the start up of a health care business with global operations, acting as a director throughout its growth and sale. He created a high return private investment in coal seam methane royalty.

In his personal life, in 1966 Merz married Nancy Champe [B.S., Smith College; B.S. with Distinction, Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing; Ed.D., Columbia University Teachers College]. They have three children and four grandchildren. Merz served his Episcopal parish as warden, vestry member and treasurer. An Eagle Scout, and recipient of the Silver Beaver award, he continues as a member of the Manhattan Council Executive Board, Boy Scouts of America. He has been a director/trustee of the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York, Jobs for Youth, and The Diller-Quaile School of Music. Merz and Nancy now live 60 miles north of New York City in Carmel, New York.

Source:

Merz K. Peters email to Cynthia Franco, Librarian, July 30, 2015.

Attachment to Letter of January 11, 2014 from Merz K. Peters to Russell L. Martin, III, Director, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

Merz K. Peters describes his collection:

This collection constitutes my “working files” as a practicing equities securities analyst. It was formed during a half century, and necessarily culled from time to time but not in systematic fashion. Because of specialization as an energy analyst from 1966, the bulk of materials relate to that industry. As an employee of the private banking firm of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. from 1959 to 1983, I published a substantial amount and provided handouts during presentations to investment clients, all indexed and included. The collection also includes working papers, such as interview questions for visits with managements of companies, ongoing earnings estimates and valuation judgments, and a volume of records resulting from being a member of a large Research Department and the firm.

In my own practice, Merz K. Peters & Associates, Inc., from 1984, I applied analytical techniques not only in investment research and management but also in investment banking, venture capital, financial public relations and entrepreneurial pursuits. Because almost all engagements and activities were on a confidential basis, the resulting records are not identified and are sprinkled throughout the collection. Examples include (a) items from a number of biotech companies when I prepared reports for a financial public relations organization, and (b) files about the refrigerated warehouse industry and companies because I acted as exclusive investment banker to sell such a business. For about two decades, I served as consulting analyst in several capacities for the American Stock Exchange, and AMEX materials including my publications are listed in a separate section.

The general arrangement of the files is to have “industry” materials first, followed by individual company items.


Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into four series:
Series 1: Brown Brothers Harriman, 1906-1983
Subseries 1.1: Brown Brothers Harriman client correspondence, 1906-1955
Subseries 1.2: Merz Peters business papers, 1938-1983
Subseries 1.3: Merz Peters publications, 1959-1983
Series 2: Subject files for various industries, 1950-2011
Series 3: American Stock Exchange, 1984-2005
Series 4: Merz Peters personal papers, 1956-2014

Restrictions

Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.


Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Peters, Merz K.
Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co. – History.
American Stock Exchange.
Financial services industry – United States – History.
Oil industries – History.
Investment advisors – United States.
Investment banking – History.
Letters.
Annual reports.

Related Materials

Records of Brown Brothers Harriman, New York Historical Society & Library

BBH Communicator, DeGolyer periodicals

The Record : Published for the Employees of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, DeGolyer periodicals


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Merz Peters investment research collection, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Merz Peters, 2014.

Processing Information

Documents were removed from their binders and folders, and placed in acid-free folders. Books were cataloged and shelved in DeGolyer Library. Most subjects and correspondence were originally organized alphabetically and chronologically and this order was maintained.

Books were cataloged and shelved in DeGolyer Library, including periodicals from BP and other energy companies. Researchers can find his books by searching the catalog using the phrase “Part of the Merz Peters collection.”

Processed by

Cynthia Franco, 2015.

Finding aid written and encoded by

Cynthia Franco, 2015.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Brown Brothers Harriman, 1906-1983
17 boxes

This series contains Merz Peters’ business files while he was employed by Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) as an analyst for over two decades. The first boxes provide an interesting look at BBH corporate life. Subseries 1.1 contains historical files from Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) and includes early client correspondence. Peters was responsible for the “file room” in the mid-1960s and although space limitations required the discarding of material prior to 1950, he was able to save some of the historical files of the firm. The second subseries contains Peters’ subject files for various industries and some correspondence.
Box Folder
1 1 Employee handbook, 1954-1976
2 Staff directory, 1983
3 BBH partners, 1960s
4 Robert V. Roosa
5 BBH memos to employees, 1951-1969
6 BBH memos to employees, 1968-1982
7 BBH memos to offices, 1962-1970
8 BBH memos to offices, 1971-1982
9 Client parties, 1963-1972
10 BBH manual, 1964
11 BBH training, 1959
12 Investment seminars and briefing sessions, 1968-1976
13 Investment seminars, 1976-1980
14 4 quarterly investment seminars on cassette tape, February 4, 1981
15 Investment seminars and briefing sessions, 1980-1983
16 Outline of credit technique and loan procedure, 1966
17 Bond portfolio management and institutional advisory service, 1973-1977
18 Investment management for institutional portfolios, 1981
Box Folder
2 1 BBH investment research department, floor plans, 1968-1982
2 Investment policy committee notes, 1960-1979
3 Research department investment policy reviews, 1959-1968
4 Research department investment policy reviews, 1961-1989
5 Weekly investment notes, 1962-1964
6 Weekly investment notes, 1964-1983
7 Research index, 1983
8 Stock comments, 1959-1963
9 Stock comments, 1963-1975
10 Industry studies, 1959-1969
11 Industry studies, 1970-1988
12 Memos from FI [foreign investment] department, 1962-1974
13 Research department management, 1958-1969
Box Folder
3 1 Research department management, 1970-1972
2 Research department management, 1973-1977
3 Research department management, 1978-1986
4 Research meeting notes, 1968-1969
5 Research department company contacts, 1977-1980
6 Brokers’ liaison, 1970-1981
7 Industry reviews for stock policy group, 1974-1980
8 Research marketing, 1962-1982
9 Research library files, 1960-1972
10 Research library files, 1973-1976
11 Research library files, 1977-1983
12 BBH historical file, 1970-1983
13 BBH 1900-1950 photocopy of informal history
14 BBH history of Research [department], background of publications, 1966
15 BBH brochures, 1967 Christmas party program
16 BBH trainees, 1982
17-18 BBH [staff] promotions, 1964-1983
19 BBH anniversaries, retirees, deaths, 1964-1982
20 BBH memos to staff, 1957-1968
Box Folder
4 1 BBH memos to staff, new offices, 1967-1981
2 BBH memos to staff, 1969-1983



Subseries 1.1: BBH client correspondence, 1906-1955

This subseries contains the early client correspondence of Brown Brothers Harriman. Files are arranged alphabetically by client, with some miscellaneous topics interfiled.
Box Folder
4 3 American Airlines, 1935-1939
4 Black Starr & Gorham, Inc., 1929-1936
5 Bellows Falls Hydro Electric, 1922-1939
6 Bendix Aviation, 1930-1938
7 C correspondence, 1930-1955
8 Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio Railway, 1927-1938
9 Carrier Corporation, 1929-1939
10 Central New York Power, 1937-1940
11 Certain-Teed Products Corporation, 1928-1932
12 Chicago Great Western Railway, 1931-1945
13 Cities Service Gas Company, 1931-1938
14 Cities Service Power & Light Company, 1929-1944
15 Coca Cola, 1938-1939
16 Columbia Broadcasting System, 1933-1939
17 Columbia Gas System, 1928-1938
18 Commercial Solvents, 1931-1935
19 Commonwealth Edison, 1934-1945
20 Humble Oil, 1927-1939
21 International Mercantile Marine, 1921-1924
22 McCall Corporation, 1927-1934
23 McCord Corporation, 1929-1932
24 Manhattan Company, 1931-1936
25 Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. 1906 offering document, etc., 1906-1940
26 Marine Midland Corporation, 1931-1938
27 Market Street Railway, 1925-1942
28 Massachusetts Investors Growth Stock Fund, 1933-1939
29 Maytag, 1927-1929
30 Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway, 1923-1955
31 New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad, 1926-1954
32 New York State Railways circulars, 1912
33 Niagara Falls Power Company, 1923-1940
34 Niagara Hudson Power, 1929-1939
35 Noranda Mines, 1938-1939
36 Norfolk Southern & Virginia Railroad, 1921-1955
37 North American Edison Company, 1928-1939
38 Oil companies, 1929-1953
39 Pan American Petroleum & Transport, 1921-1936
40 Peerless Oil and Gas Company, 1918-1939
41 Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 1931-1938
42 People’s Light and Power, 1930-1944
43 Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Company, 1931-1948
44 Standard Oil (Indiana), 1929-1937
45 Standard Oil (New Jersey), 1920-1939
46 Standard Power and Light, 1927-1938
47 Superheater Company, 1931-1938
48 Traction Company Securities, 1934-1946
49 United Airlines, 1947
50 Donald K. Walker, 1929-1938



Subseries 1.2: Merz Peters business papers, 1938-1983
7 boxes

This series contains Merz Peters’ business files, presentations, and reports while working as an analyst at Brown Brothers Harriman. Most of the comments and publications are written by Peters. MKP is an abbreviation of Merz K. Peters. Boxes 17X-18X contain hand drawn investment charts.
Box Folder
6 1 My BBH work, 1959-1963
2 BBH rubber, 1962-1966
3 Auto industry publications, 1963-1967
4 Retail and marketing, 1949-1976 [department stores, grocery chains]
5 Grocery companies, supermarket chains, 1938-1964
6 Grocery chains, 1962-1994
7 Management interviews, 1970-1971; company notes, 1972-1973
8 Weekly rankings, 1961-1964
9 Weekly rankings, 1963-1971
10 Weekly rankings, 1974-1976
11 Weekly rankings, 1972-1980
12 Petroleum industry, 1956-1958
13 International oil industry comments, 1967-1971
Box Folder
7 1 Oil industry comments, 1973-1979
2 Oil industry comments, 1980-1981
3 Oil industry comments, 1982
4 Intensive marketing, 1976-1979
5 Energy stocks master lists, 1969-1981
6 Stock notes, 1972-1975
7 Stock notes, 1976-1977
8 Stock notes, 1978
9-10 Stock notes, 1979
11-12 Stock notes, 1980
13 Earnings report, 1981
14 Stock notes, 1981
Box Folder
8 1 Stock notes, 1982-1983
2 Presentations, 1967-1972
3 Presentations, 1972-1973
4-5 Presentations, 1974
6 Presentations, 1975
7-8 Presentations, 1976
9 Presentation to Florida bankers, Tampa, 1976
10 “New World of Energy: Business and Government” presentation for Columbia University conference, 1976
11 Presentation to Financial Analysts Federation, 1976
12 Presentations, 1977
13 Presentations, 1978
14 Presentations, 1979
15 Presentations, 1980
Box Folder
9 1 Presentations, 1981
2 Canada’s proposed national energy program, February 6, 1981
3 Presentations, 1982-1983
4 Energy publications received/subscriptions
5 MKP indexes [to publications written by Merz Peters]
6 Energy industry notes/energy strategy comments, 1976-1983
7 1973 crisis
8 Memos, 1960-1966
9 Memos from MKP, 1965-1982
10 Memos, stock notes, letters, 1981-1982
11 Energy group publications, 1981-1982
12 Energy group leader, 1968-1983
Box Folder
16X 1 Relative valuation charts and data, 1960s-1970s
2 Stock valuations, 1960s
3 Oil companies, 1960s
4 Weekly calculations, 1968-1972
5 Weekly calculations, 1/22/1973-11/30/1979
6 Weekly calculations, 1980-1983
7 S&P 500, 1976; oil 18 year graph, 1981
8 740-32RH disk-archives file – Arco, Exxon, Gulf, Mobil, Pennzoil, Phillips, Shell, Socal, Standard Indiana, Texaco
Box Box
19 CD-ROMs: Shell Gas 7 power; Gulf investor relations; Far East Energy Corporation; The Exploration Company investor kit to go, 2002; IPAA Oil & Gas Investment Symposium, April 2002; Digidesign product information, 2003; RAM Energy Resources, 2009; Swift Energy Company corporate information, 2009; Whiting Petroleum Corporation video tour, 2011
Box Folder
17X 1 Guides to growth stock investing, 1960s-1971 [with protractor]
2 Institutional investment guides, 1974-1975
Box Item
18X Miss Anderson’s hand drawn charts: industrial production, durables, non-durables, manufactures, 1919-1955
D/J [Dow Jones] original charts, 1939-1945, 1953-1954
D/J [Dow Jones] original charts, 1955 through 1958



Subseries 1.3: Publications, 1959-1983
3 boxes

This series contains publications written by Merz Peters for Brown Brothers Harriman. Box 10 contains various publications written by Peters arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
9 13 Summary, 1960-1964
14 BBH guidance lists, 1959-1983
15 BBH favored lists, 1960-1983
16 BBH miscellaneous research, 1961-1981
17 BBH Economic Comment, 1960-1979
18 BBH Corporate Bond Data, 1961-1982
19 BBH Coming Municipal Sales, 1969
20 BBH Precious Metals Comment, 1970-1983
Box Folder
10 1 1959-1961
2 1960-1962
3 1962-1963
4 1964
5 1965
6 1966-1969
7 1970-1971
8 1972-1973
9 1974
10 1975
11 1976
12 1977
13 1978-1979
14 1980
15 1981
16 1982-1983
Box Folder
11 1 Weekly investment notes, 1962-1963
2 Weekly investment notes, 1970-1973



Series 2: Subject files for various industries, 1950-2011
5 boxes

The second subseries contains Peters’ subject files for various industries and some correspondence.
Box Folder
4 49 Logging, 1950-1960
50 Oil industry
51 Oil industry policy, 1973-2011
Box Folder
5 1 Department of Energy newsletters, 1974-1979
2 Gasoline demand, 1972-1979
3 Independent Petroleum Association of America, 1970-1980
4-6 Coalseam methane, 1987-1997
7 Kuwait Oil Company, 1972
8 Oil stocks research, 1959-1966
9 Gulf oil, 1970-1984
10 Texaco, 1957-1980s
11 Texaco, 1988-1995
12 Phillips Petroleum, 1956-2003
13 Hess Oil and Chemical Corporation refinery tour, Amerada Petroleum annual report, 1966
Box Folder
6 14 United Media Inc., October 1970
15 The Next High, Business Times morning program, 1983-1985
16 Lucasfilm – Pixar Image computer, 1985
17 Excalibur Pictures Corp. business plan, 1985
18 Balloonatiks licensing and tv show, 1990
19 Swing – Broadway show, 1999
20 Homeland Security Corporation, 2008
21 Taser International, 2001
Box Folder
17X 3 CBS Broadcast Center portfolio [Harvard Business School Club of New York tour, 1967]
4 The Comedians – Broadway production, 1976
Box Box
19 CD-ROMs: Shell Gas 7 power; Gulf investor relations; Far East Energy Corporation; The Exploration Company investor kit to go, 2002; IPAA Oil & Gas Investment Symposium, April 2002; Digidesign product information, 2003; RAM Energy Resources, 2009; Swift Energy Company corporate information, 2009; Whiting Petroleum Corporation video tour, 2011



Series 3: American Stock Exchange, 1984-2005
5 boxes

For two decades Merz Peters was a consulting analyst in several capacities for the American Stock Exchange. This series mostly contains Merz Peters’ business files and his publications for the American Stock Exchange (Amex). ECM is an abbreviation of the Emerging Company Marketplace, which provided an auction marketplace for small/emerging companies underserved by capital markets.
Box Folder
11 3 Amex company guide, 1990s
4 Amex annual reports, 1981, 1990-1991
5 Amex new listings procedures manual, 1991
6-8 Amex clippings and promotional material
9-10 Materials used for consideration of listing, 1992
11 Materials used for consideration of listing, Dr. Pepper, 1991
Box Folder
12 1 ECM [Emerging Company Marketplace], 1992
2 ECM Update reports, 1992-1995
3 New on the ECM reports, 1992-1995
4 New on the Amex, 1986-1988
5 New on the Amex, 1989-1991
6 New on the Amex, 1993-1995
7 New on the Amex, 1996-1997
8 New on the Amex, 1998-2002
9 New on the Amex, 1993-2004
10 New on the Amex with annotations, October 1985-December 1987
11 New on the Amex with annotations, 1988
12 New on the Amex with annotations, 1989
13 New on the Amex with annotations, 1990-1991
14 New on the Amex with annotations, 1992-1993
15 New on the Amex with annotations, 1993-1994
Box Folder
13 1 New on the Amex with annotations, 1995
2 New on the Amex with annotations, 1996
3 New on the Amex with annotations, 1997
4 New on the Amex with annotations, 1998
5 New on the Amex with annotations, 1998-1999
6-7 New on the Amex with annotations, 2000
8 New on the Amex with annotations, 2001-2003
9 New on the Amex by other writers, 1984-1997
10 Canada seminars sponsored by Amex, 1986-1992
11 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 1988-1993
12 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 1995
13 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 1996
14 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 1997
Box Folder
14 1-2 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 1998
3-5 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 1999
6 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 1999-2000
7-8 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 2000
9-11 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 2001
Box Folder
15 1 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 2001
2-4 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 2002
5 New on the Amex reports and prospectus sources, 2003-2005



Series 4: Merz Peters personal papers, 1956-2014
3 boxes

The last series contains Merz Peters’ study materials for the Chartered Financial Analyst® exam in the mid-1960s, CFA Institute materials, his IBM dictaphone and recordings, CD-ROMs from various energy companies, and gifts from various oil companies.
Box Folder
15 6 Public relations seminars, books, [Harvard] 1956
7-8 Merz Peters CFA [Chartered Financial Analysts] study guides, 1965-1966
9 CFA Council of Examiners meeting, 1973
10 CFA Council of Examiners meeting, 1974
11 CFA Institute, 1964-2005
12 ExxonMobil Analyst meeting, New York Stock Exchange, 2014
13 Dictated memos to files, 1966-1970
14 IBM tape of dictated memos
Box Item
19 IBM Executary 224 dictating unit with manual
Box Item
20X Arco gold-plated Alaska paperweight
Sun Oil Company oil derrick model
Quaker State mpg calculator
Marathon model of gas pump, analyst meeting, November 4, 2003
Exxon Mobil pen and business card holder, analyst meeting, 2014