PRESCOTT, BALL AND TURBEN, INC., one of the largest regionally based investment firms between New York and Chicago, was the product of several mergers. In 1924 Charles B. Merrill and Claude F. Turben organized Merrill, Turben & Co. and in 1934, Edward P. Prescott and Morton J. Stone formed Prescott & Co., located in the National City Bank Bldg. at E. 6th St. and Euclid Ave. Both firms acquired and merged with other firms during the 1960s. In Oct. 1967 the 2 enlarged firms merged to form Prescott, Merrill, Turben & Co. with capital of more than $7 million, 325 employees, and 113 registered representatives in 11 branches throughout Ohio.
The company expanded into a nationwide investment operation when it merged with Ball, Burge & Kraus to become Prescott, Ball & Turben in 1973, doubling its net worth to over $14 million with 24 branches in Ohio, New York, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Louisville. The firm expanded into realty financing with the acquisition of the Pittsburgh-based Zappala & Co. in 1981. In 1982 PB&T had annual revenues of more than $100 million when Kemper Corp. of Chicago paid $64 million in cash and stocks to acquire an 80% interest in the Cleveland firm, which then became a subsidiary of Kemper's Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co. In the meantime, the brokerage firm had bought and restored the former Bonwit Teller Bldg. at 1331 EUCLID AVE. and moved its headquarters there in Nov. 1981. In 1984 PB&T formed a joint venture with Lazarus Dept. Stores of Columbus, establishing full-line brokerage houses in their stores. In 1990 Kemper dissolved the PB&T relationship with Lazarus and moved the PB&T Division to Hudson, OH. In 1995 PB&T continued to exist in Hudson as a small part of the giant Kemper Securities Group, Inc.