Our legacy of trust dates back to 1795 when the federally chartered Bank of the United States entrusted our corporate forefathers with the critical mission of producing counterfeit-resistant currency for the young Republic. Since that time, the qualities of American Banknote Corporation have remained constant - craftsmanship and innovation, accountability and adaptability.
Case in point: In 1914, a sudden and extraordinary demand for currency resulted in an unprecedented crisis for two of the principal banks in Mexico. The strength of the banks was not at issue, but the problem of not having enough bank notes on hand was insurmountable, and therefore a bank holiday was declared. An urgent order for notes was placed with American Banknote, which immediately sprang into action, running production around the clock. Then came the problem of delivery. The notes were literally packed in suitcases, and rushed by two American Banknote executives to the port of Mobile, Alabama. Our men immediately proceeded to the waterfront, where they searched until they found a Norwegian tug willing to take them and their cargo of "books" to Vera Cruz. After three days of storms and discomfort, they made port, and the notes were delivered just as the bank holiday expired. Incredibly, this is not an isolated story.
Over the years, American Banknote personnel have made accomplishing the improbable - all the way from recovering shipwrecked customer product, to assisting the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing in times of war, to rapidly developing and implementing tax collection and rebate systems for sovereign nations - Standard Operating Procedure.
It is that sense of personal responsibility, along with our remarkable resourcefulness, which exemplifies ABN's institutional values: Values that have allowed American Banknote Corporation to continually adapt and thrive across more than two centuries of changing economic and geopolitical climates.
Today, under the stewardship of a new generation of executives, American Banknote Corporation employs thousands of people on four continents spanning the globe. But American Banknote is much more than a combination of industry-leading companies in North America, South America, Australasia and Europe. It is a perfect example of a global enterprise that is far greater than the sum of its parts. The abiding strength of our franchise rests on our proven ability to deliver a scarce commodity - Security in an uncertain world.
American Banknote Corporation, already well into its third century, can move forward knowing that our skill in traditional craftsmanship and our commitment to technological innovation have enabled us to furnish genuine peace of mind to those requiring secure documentation and secure transactions, in a time of ever-growing risk.
With a full-service suite of secure document and transaction solutions, global reach through our subsidiaries and strategic alliances, and a time-tested reputation as a trusted provider of products and services of inherent value, American Banknote is rapidly becoming the leader of yet another emerging category: Secure, full-spectrum document and transaction solutions.
American Banknote can act as your state's motor vehicle bureau, your bank's credit card division, your company's secure distribution and fulfillment house, your designer label's anti-counterfeiting agency, or even your nation's mint - providing an error-free chain of custody from design, printing and manufacture through distribution, document and data management, and fulfillment. And, as throughout our history, we continue to seek out potential acquisitions, strategic alliances, and new agency relationships in order to more effectively serve our customers.
Today, American Banknote continues to spare no effort in fulfilling our commitment to the time-tested values that remain as sound today as in 1795.
Through the march of history - years of peace and prosperity, times of civil and global war, periods of sustained growth and stability, and today when the only certainty seems to be that nothing is certain - American Banknote has stood for security and service, accountability and sound innovation, and of course, master craftsmanship.