“Innovation is the creation of the new, or the re-arranging of the old in a new way.”
- Born May 6, 1870 in San Jose, California.
- Parents were immigrants from Favale di Malvaro in Italy.
- Went to Heald College in San Francisco.
- Started out as a produce broker, commission merchant, and a produce dealer for Santa
Clara Valley farms. He was extremely successful.
- Was able to retire at the age of 31.
- Became a director of the Columbus Savings & Loan.
- Was inspired to make a bank for the immigrants as opposed to the wealthy like other
banks were doing.
- The other directors on the board for the Columbus Savings & Loan did not agree
with his desire to help immigrants and he decided to leave them and create his
Who is Amadeo Peter Giannini?
- On October 17, 1904, Giannini created the Bank of Italy. It became a bank for the hardworking immigrants that were denied by other banks. He handed them bank accounts and loans based on character and not the amount of money they had.
- In about a year, deposits were $700,000 (millions today).
- After the devastating earthquake, Giannini made a temporary bank.
- He moved the vault for the bank’s money to his house, disguising it in a garbage wagon previously owned by Giobatta Cepollina. He had two million dollars in gold, coins, etc.
- Giannini gained the trust of the community and the loans from the earthquake were all paid off. The only contract for the loan was a handshake.
- To thank Cepollina for letting him borrow his garbage wagon, he hired
Cepollina’s firstborn – Frank Joseph Cepollina – and his son was able to retire
at the age of 41.
- Giannini preferred branching banks for when times were difficult and before long, he had
over five hundred branched banks in California.
- In 1928, the Bank of Italy and the Bank of America – founded by Orra E. Monnette –
merged and became the Bank of America we know today.
- Giannini had chairmanship over Bank of America until his retirement in 1945.
- Credited as the inventor of current banking practices. First to offer services to the
- Initiated the holding company structure and made one of the first trans-national
- Gave money to Walt Disney so that they could produce Snow White.
- Supported the wine industries in California and bought the bonds that financed the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Bankrolled industrialist Henry Kaiser.
- Helped rebuild Fiat factories.
- Gave money to the founders of HP.
- Created Transamerica Corporation in 1928 – a holding company for his investments –
which was acting like a shareholder. Bank of America was separated from it in
1956 and by the Bank Holding Company Act.
- Giannini died on June 3, 1949 in San Mateo, California, and his son Mario took
leadership of the company. Claire Giannini Hoffman, his daughter, took his
place on the Board of Directors.
- He was 79 when he died and many middle-class people attended his funeral.
What can we learn from Amadeo Peter Giannini about being an innovator?
Necessity is the mother of innovation.
To be successful, you need to help others achieve their goals.
Hard work pays dividends.
Focus on solving problems that affect the masses.
Select your business partners wisely.
Principles of Execution Key Concepts:
- Amadeo Peter Giannini
- Bank of America
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