Dreyfus was among the pioneers of mutual fund investing and remains one of the most recognizable names in the business. While consistent in our investment philosophy and process, we have strived to meet the changing needs of investors and investment professionals throughout our history. Dreyfus and the lion have come to symbolize the strength of our commitment to quality, performance and client relationships.
The firm's origin dates back to 1947, when legendary investor Jack Dreyfus founded a brokerage house in New York City named Dreyfus & Co.
1950s - 1960s
In 1951, attracted by the concept of mutual funds, Dreyfus & Co. purchased a small management company named John G. Nesbett & Co., Inc. with a small common stock fund called The Nesbett Fund Incorporated. Nesbett & Co. was renamed The Dreyfus Corporation, and The Nesbett Fund became The Dreyfus Fund Incorporated.
In the 1950s, the Dreyfus lion became the symbol of The Dreyfus Corporation. In 1957, Dreyfus became the first mutual fund company to launch a retail advertising campaign. Breaking from traditional "tombstone" mutual fund advertising, the lion made his debut on television emerging from a subway station and striding down Wall Street.
Later on, Dreyfus again stepped away from the pack when it published a full-color prospectus as a supplement to The New York Times. These advertisements were so distinctive that they received national press coverage. The lion continues to appear in Dreyfus advertising today and remains one of the most recognizable corporate trademarks in the United States.
Going public in 1965, Dreyfus was among the first money management firms to tap into the stock market for additional capital.
1970s - 1980s
In 1972, Dreyfus moved to the forefront of socially responsible investing by creating The Dreyfus Third Century Fund, Inc. It invests in companies that not only meet traditional investment standards, but also conduct business in a manner that is believed to contribute to a better quality of life.
Always sensitive to changing investor needs, Dreyfus was a pioneer in the area of money market funds with the launch of Dreyfus Liquid Assets in 1974. Dreyfus focused its sales efforts on the retail market, helping to lay the groundwork for the subsequent tremendous growth of money market funds.
In 1976, Dreyfus was the first fund company to introduce an incorporated tax-exempt municipal bond fund, Dreyfus Municipal Bond Fund.
In 1985, Dreyfus introduced its family of low expense Cash Management Funds. And in the latter half of the 1980s, Dreyfus responded to investor demand by creating its Strategic Funds family, which incorporates sophisticated trading techniques made available to mutual funds by the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
Recognizing the increasing availability of dollar-denominated foreign bank deposit instruments, in 1989 we introduced Dreyfus Worldwide Dollar Money Market Fund, a pioneering money market fund for retail investors that could invest in dollar-denominated foreign money market instruments.
In 1994, Dreyfus completed its landmark merger with Mellon Bank Corporation, and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Mellon Financial Corporation. The merger, a milestone in the history of financial services in the United States, was at the time the largest-ever combination of a bank and mutual fund company.
In 1992, Dreyfus launched its first "BASIC" family of funds, designed to offer higher yields through lower operating expenses. And in the fall of 1996, Dreyfus created Dreyfus Short-Term High-Yield Fund (currently known as Dreyfus Limited Term High Income Fund), the first of its kind at the time.
In June 1998, Dreyfus introduced the mutual fund industry's first simplified prospectus designed to be an investor-friendly summary of the information contained in the full mutual fund prospectus.
Also in 1998, Mellon Financial Corporation acquired Founders Funds, which became the growth specialist affiliate of The Dreyfus Corporation, and became Dreyfus Founders Funds.
In February 2000, Dreyfus introduced separately managed accounts to further enhance the company's institutional and investment advisory business. This service provides individually managed client portfolios and related investment services through institutional channels such as broker-dealers or financial planners. Fayez Sarofim & Co., the Houston-based asset management firm that also sub-advises several Dreyfus mutual funds, became the first asset manager to work with the Dreyfus separate accounts business.
In January 2007, Dreyfus announced it had dramatically expanded its mutual fund lineup in 2006, adding 10 new offerings launched since December 2005, spanning equity, fixed income, international and global mandates, continuing to build on Dreyfus' long history of product innovation. With the extensive offerings and continued growth in its existing funds, Dreyfus' assets under management were approaching $200 billion. In July 2007, Dreyfus reached that milestone, crossing the threshold of $200 billion in assets under management.
On July 1, 2007, The Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corporation merged to form a new company BNY Mellon, one of the world's largest global asset management and servicing companies.
As part of BNY Mellon Investment Management, one of the world's largest global investment managers, Dreyfus provides unique access to its exclusive and diverse global network of world-class asset managers, delivering powerful investment insight and strategies, including equity, fixed income and money market mutual funds, separately managed accounts, retirement and cash management strategies and asset allocation solutions.