Over the last couple of weeks, Vested’s global headquarters unveiled long awaited changes to some of our remaining white walls: custom wallpaper. This, however, is certainly not your run-of-the-mill wallpaper. The goal was not to slap a strié finish or leave abstract shapes floating senselessly up and down our walls just to fill the space. In classic Vested fashion, the objective was to bring curiosity and creativity to the fore, while also emphasizing our deep commitment to our clients and their ecosystem.
In partnership with The Museum of American Finance, Vested designed a bespoke wallpaper that incorporates prominent historical figures, artifacts, and places that can tell us a fair bit about the history of finance – in New York, London and beyond.
Founded in 1989 by John Herzog, then partner but eventual CEO at one of Nasdaq’s largest market makers, the Museum of American Finance seeks to improve understanding of the influence that financial institutions and capital markets have on the economy and society. Since 2015, Vested has partnered with the Museum as a pro-bono client to offer strategic communications support. Like Herzog, our founders have always believed in the virtue of learning about the past to understand the present, and financial history is no exception.
The wallpaper includes several elements, some of which are as straightforward as bars of gold, harking back to the gold standard, and some which are more likely to elude viewers. If you look closely, you’ll see some hidden Vested references (hint: check out the coins and safe!). Here’s a sample of what you can expect to find next time you’re in to see us.
Initially commissioned by global asset manager State Street to advertise a new index featuring companies with high percentages of female senior leadership, the statue received so much positive public acclaim that it has now become a mainstay of New York City’s Financial District.
The ancestor to the modern calculator, likely of Babylonian origin, which survives today in places like the Middle East, China, and Japan.
Ticker tape machine
The earliest electrical device dedicated to financial communications used to transmit stock price information over telegraph lines. The machines were in use for almost 100 years, all the way until 1970. The Vested NYC office has an original ticker tape machine on loan from the Museum on display!
Founder of global namesake financial giant, John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan is also heralded as a savior of the US economy for the role he played in averting a financial disaster after the market panic of 1907, which incidentally led the U.S. government to create the Federal Reserve System.
NCR Cash Register
Invented and developed in the 19th century by a saloon keeper in Ohio, the National Cash Register revolutionized retail habits. Vested has an original version of the machine on display on the bar in our New York HQ space.
Not just a Founding Father, nor just an inspiration for one of this generation’s greatest musical shows, Alexander Hamilton embodied the role of Treasury Secretary by engineering the country’s financial system through the creation of the Treasury debt market, the dollar, and a central bank.
These particular bonds were issued in the US to fund the Fenian Rising of 1867, one of Ireland’s many rebellions against British rule, and were “redeemable six months after the acknowledgement of the Independence of the Irish Nation”. They were redeemed almost 80 years later.
Walt Disney Productions stock share certificate
In 1940, then privately held Walt Disney Company made shares available to the public for the first time. Even though the US was at the tail end of the Great Depression and eyeing war on the horizon, Disney shares sold out by the end of the day.
Madam C.J. Walker
Born in a southern plantation just a few years after President Lincoln proclaimed emancipation, Madam C.J. Walker is considered to be the first-ever self-made female millionaire in the US. She is credited with having developed and marketed a line of cosmetics and hair care products for Black women through the business she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.
American Express credit card
In 1958, American Express launched the American Express card. Because American Express had an international network of offices in place and their travelers’ cheques had been accepted throughout the world for decades, this was the first credit card accepted internationally.
The unmistakable bronze sculpture that greets pedestrians on Wall Street was designed by an Italian in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash and illegally dropped outside the NYSE. It’s been a landmark there ever since.
Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician who introduced the concept of computer programming after working with Charles Babbage, the father of the computer. Asked to provide comments to an article written about Babbage’s Analytical Engine, Ada instead collated reams of sketches and analyses about other ways in which the machine could be used, including the manipulation of symbols and creation of music. Her work paved the way for Alan Turing’s Turing test, which formed the basis for AI.