MCDONALD & CO. SECURITIES, a large Cleveland-based investment banking and brokerage house, was formed in 1927 when Chas. B. McDonald and James Callahan borrowed $50,000 to buy the Geo. W. York Co. The McDonald & Callahan partnership went through several name changes before becoming McDonald & Co. in 1944. The firm grew steadily, employing 200 people in 1964, the year it purchased the assets of Field, Richards & Co. In July 1983 the company became a publicly held corporation, raising its capital from $6 million to $36 million through a stock offering. With 80% of the stock held by former partners of the firm, it became McDonald & Co. Investments, Inc., on 20 May 1983. Specializing in public and corporate finance, the firm had 19 offices in Ohio with branches in 11 states, employing over 1,200 people in 1995. Its total revenues that year were more than $177 million, yielding a net income of over $13 million.
Following the $70 billion merger in 1998 between Citicorp and Travelers Group, Inc., financial analysts predicted future mergers between banks and firms that offered financial services across the United States. The case in Cleveland would prove no different and by the end of 1998 KeyCorp completed the purchase of McDonald & Co. for $580 million in stock. As part of the deal, McDonald & Co.'s name would remain unchanged, though it would be backed by KeyCorp's red key logo. In 2004, McDonald & Co. continued to keep its headquarters in the McDonald Investment Center Bldg. at 800 Superior Ave.