Chevy Chase Trust Company and Its Heritage – Part 4: B.F. Saul and Chevy Chase Trust

Here at Chevy Chase Trust, we’re proud of our heritage, which began in 1837 during the early days of private banking in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the next several weeks, we’ll be blogging about our history. This is the fourth and final installment in a four part series about our history (to read Part 1: From Corcoran to Riggs, click here, Part 2: Antitrust Regulation and the Birth of American Security and Trust, click here, and Part 3: The Growth of American Security and Trust, click here).

American Security and Trust, a predecessor of Chevy Chase Trust, experienced substantial growth after its merger with B.F. Saul’s Home Savings Bank in 1919 and by 1959 it had 19 branches. In 1973, American Security and Trust Company changed its name to American Security Bank. The shorter name was convenient and the addition of the word “bank” helped explain its function more clearly. A decade later in 1983, American Security Bank founded a subsidiary, ASB Capital Management, to serve tax-exempt clients, especially pension funds. The Bank realized that managers of many pension funds were reluctant to deposit their holdings with trust divisions of banks, because they thought that trust departments could not offer the specialized services they needed. At the outset, ASB invested in stocks and bonds, but soon began to focus on real estate after its major client, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, requested this additional capability. Individuals who wanted their trust funds managed by American Security Bank were transferred to another subsidiary of the bank, Security Trust Company.

In 1987, American Security Bank merged with Maryland National Bank, headquartered in Baltimore. After the merger, the name of the new bank became MNC Financial. It was the largest bank in the Washington-Baltimore area. Another major change came in 1993, when MNC Financial was purchased by NationsBank, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. This acquisition made NationsBank the fourth largest bank in the United States. It soon became the largest bank in the country, when in 1998 it purchased BankAmerica in San Francisco and changed its name to Bank of America. It still maintains its headquarters in Charlotte.

In 1997, Chevy Chase Bank purchased ASB Capital Management from NationsBank. Founded in 1969 and owned by B.F. Saul II, grandson of the founder of Home Savings Bank, Chevy Chase Bank was the largest locally owned bank headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area from the mid-1990s to 2009. As an affiliate of Chevy Chase Bank, ASB Capital Management was an institutional investment advisory firm, managing equity, fixed income and real estate investments. In 1999 the trust division of ASB Capital Management split off and was established as Chevy Chase Trust Company, also an affiliate of Chevy Chase Bank.

The Saul family retained ownership of both Chevy Chase Trust Company and ASB Capital Management when Chevy Chase Bank was sold to Capital One in 2009.

Chevy Chase Trust continues to serve many individuals and families in the Washington metropolitan area. ASB Capital Management continues to manage pension funds investments in Washington and across the nation, and its largest client remains the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. These firms are located in the B.F. Saul Company’s twin office towers, in the heart of Bethesda, Maryland, at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue.