American Express

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In 2008, American Express was ranked #105 in Forbes list of global public companies. This company scored well on parameters like profits, assets, and market value. American Express serves a worldwide network and is headquartered in New York, United States.
American Express is a multi-national firm that has significant presence in Asia, North America, Africa, and Europe. Major countries where American Express conducts business operations include United States, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Thailand, China, Japan, and India.

Brief history
American Express was founded in 1850. Founding owners of American Express included Henry Wells, William Fargo, and John Butterfield. It started off as an express mail service in New York’s Buffalo city. This firm was established as a result of a merger between Henry Wells’ Wells & Company, William Fargo’s Livingstone, Fargo & Company, and John Butterfield’s Wells, Butterfield & Company. In 1882, American Express diversified into financial services.

Products and services
Most popular product offered by American Express includes credit cards. American Express credit cards are recognized and accepted in major international cities. This firm offers personal, corporate, small business and merchants credit cards. It also offers travel booking services to its clients.

In 2007, total sales made by America Express Company amounted to around $32.852 billion. This public company made profits of about $3.29 billion. Total assets owned by American Express were worth nearly $127.218 billion. In 2007, about 67,700 people were employed with American Express Company.

Awards and recognition
In 2006 and 2007, Working Mothers magazine identified American Express as one of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers†in United Kingdom. In 2007, BusinessWeek and Interbrand jointly recognized American Express as world’s 14th most valuable brand. American Express stock forms an important part of Dow Jones Industrial Average. In J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, American Express came up on top of customer satisfaction rankings.

Current financial crisis
Global financial crisis has affected American Express’ businesses. This firm announced its intention to counter problems brought on by collapse of credit market, by implementing cost-cutting plans that include around 7,000 job cuts. In 3rd quarter of 2008, American Express profits fell by 24 percent. In November, 2008 Federal Reserve gave its approval for conversion of American Express into a bank holding company.

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