Salomon Smith Barney to open in Boulder

BOULDER — Salomon Smith Barney Inc., a worldwide provider of investment banking, asset management and brokerage services, will open a branch here.

“We are actively looking for space, it’s true,´ said Robert Taylor, branch manager of the Broomfield location, which opened this spring in Interlocken business park.

The company also has Colorado offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, Englewood, Fort Collins and Pueblo. The Boulder branch most likely will be downtown, Taylor said.

“We think this is a wonderful business, and they’re a company that has been around a long time and Welcome to Boulder,’ ´ said T.K. Smith, an investment representative with Edward Jones, a competitor that is well established in the city.

Taylor said the Interlocken branch of Salomon Smith Barney is about 4,000 square feet; the Boulder branch would take 3,200 to 3,500 square feet initially.

“We’ll probably build it to eight brokers,” he said.

He said company officials have looked at options over a few years, but that “attention became a lot more focused” recently and that a deal could be sealed by summer’s end.

“I think it’s wonderful that Salomon Smith Barney is coming to town — of course I know who they are; I even have students working there, I believe, in New York,´ said Michael Goldstein, assistant professor of finance at the University of Colorado.

What does the move say about Boulder? “It says we’re getting richer and we’re growing,” Goldstein said. “People in Boulder are wealthy enough to support another brokerage house.”

Dale Oesterle, a CU professor who is an expert in securities, agreed: “What I would assume is what it does show is that there is a lot of money in Boulder.”

The news is good for CU, Goldstein added, because it represents another opportunity for student internships.

He said it also may say something more subtle than Boulder’s got the cash. Entrepreneurs associated with a brokerage may ask their broker to make an introduction to an investment banker when they’re ready to make an initial public offering. And an area such as Boulder that’s on fire with entrepreneurial ventures is an area where a brokerage can generate new business.

Taylor said the main impetus for the branch is that Boulder residents have a significant presence in the Denver office. “This is an opportunity to have presence in Boulder,” he said.

Salomon Smith Barney has 35,000 employees in more than 500 offices worldwide. The majority of its financial consultants are shareholders.

The parent corporation of Salomon Smith Barney is Citigroup, which has assets of $700 billion. In December 1993, Smith Barney became a wholly owned subsidiary of Travelers Group Inc. (NYSE:TRV), a diversified financial services company.

The original Smith Barney dates back to 19th century Philadelphia. The company has a Web site at www.smithbarney.com.