What comes to mind when we think of aging in this day and age? Well, “aging in place” has become a popular dream for many of us. “Improving with age” is something we aspire to. “Seeming ageless” is something to lift a glass to for a New Year’s toast.
Banker & Tradesman turns 150 in 2022. And I’m proud to say that it has done all the above.
We are “aging in place” right here in Massachusetts, publishing news about real estate and banking right here in Massachusetts. And collecting data from public records right here in Massachusetts to guide the business decisions of real estate and banking professionals. And we are doing it with the same Warren family ownership that has endured for five generations. In sports, coaches say that the secret to success is “staying in your lane” and that philosophy has contributed to our success.
As for “improving with age,” The Warren Group, the parent corporation of Banker & Tradesman, has just completed its most profitable year in 150 years.
Each generation of Warrens has had its challenges and its triumphs. My great-grandfather, Willard C. Warren was the founding entrepreneur, the king of start-ups before that was a “thing.” Wheeling and dealing, buying trade publications, floating bonds, opening offices nonstop for 45 years. Willard’s sudden death at the tail end of the Roaring Twenties left my grandfather, Keith F. Warren, as the corporate caretaker for the dark depression years.
Publications were sold, or more commonly closed, economies were employed, and every payroll was a day of reckoning. With the able assistance of his brother-in-law, Gorham Cross, Keith was able to hold on until my father, Timothy M. Warren, returned from World War II, finished college on the G.I. Bill and was able to join the business and lend a hand.
My father helped make difficult decisions about selling our Kendall Square building and its printing presses and dividing the surviving publishing properties with his Cross cousins. He then set out to beef up Banker & Tradesman with an expanded editorial and advertising staff and drive circulation to its all-time high.
I joined the business in 1973 and by 1986 I helped realize my father’s long-time dream of entering the news and records of Banker & Tradesman into a computer database, opening the possibility of many derivative products, enabling web-based searches of the database and entering the world of big data that we inhabit today.
And finally, for “seeming ageless” I marvel at the fact that the very germ of the idea that propelled my great-grandfather into this business is exactly what we do today, even as we have innovated, expanded geographically and developed new products. We go out and search public records and mine them for valuable data that we publish and make available to real estate and banking professionals so that they can make critical business decisions, just as the first readers of B&T used our first issue 150 years ago.
We plan to mark our sesquicentennial with celebrations and special news coverage all year honoring the real estate and banking industry’s contributions to this commonwealth, and we hope you will join us.