The Warren Group is a fourth-generation, family-owned business. Its earliest roots date back to 1872 with the founding of Massachusetts newspaper, Banker & Tradesman by George T. Lincoln. The Warren family’s involvement began in 1882 with Willard C. Warren’s publication The Commercial Record in New Haven, Connecticut.
For nearly 20 years, the two newspapers operated independently with remarkably similar missions of providing news and public record data in their respective markets. In the late nineties, however, a rivalry developed. This led to Warren establishing The Banker in Massachusetts, just after the turn of the century.
Interestingly, their contention led to a partnership and the two enterprises consolidated. In 1902, Warren bought out his former rival and became the sole owner of both papers. Banker & Tradesman, as we know it today, was born.
Keith F. Warren followed his father into the family publishing business in 1918 after graduation from Yale University and service in the US armed forces during World War I. The entrepreneurial instincts of Willard Warren were complimented by Keith Warren’s steady management skills and led to the rapid expansion of the business into book and trade magazine publishing during the 1920s.
Willard Warren’s fatal heart attack in 1928 and the hardships of the Great Depression throughout the 1930s were formidable challenges for Keith Warren. Sinking trade publications were jettisoned, offices were closed, and operations were streamlined. Every payroll became a struggle. Some were met with the issuance of company scrip. In those difficult years, mere survival for the two flagship newspapers became the chief business objective.
In 1946, Timothy M. Warren joined his father, Keith Warren, in the family business, following his graduation from Bowdoin College and service in the US armed forces during World War II. Over the next 10 years, the publishing business regained some of its strength, but suffered from the high costs of maintaining its own printing plant.
Reorganization came in 1956, with assets dividing between Keith Warren and his sister, Margaret Cross. The Warren family retained Banker & Tradesman newspaper and a book publishing business, while the Cross family acquired The Commercial Record newspaper and a trade journal publishing business. The printing operation was acquired by Gorham Cross, Jr. and became The Nimrod Press.
Both newspapers grew modestly under separate ownership in the 1960s and then prospered in the 1970s. In 1973, Timothy M. Warren, Jr. came aboard, becoming the fourth generation of the Warren family to be actively involved in management.
The 1980s brought record growth to the Warren publishing enterprise through a series of business deals that shaped the organization’s future. Most notably, in 1984, Timothy M.Warren, Jr. engineered the repurchase of The Commercial Record from the International Thomson Organization to whom the Cross family had sold their publishing operations in 1980.
With both newspapers back in Warren-family control, it became time to modernize. The company gained a base of computer operations with the acquisition of the Transfer Directory in 1986. When, in 1987, the Warrens sold their book publishing business to the Bank Administration Institute, the stage was set for establishing the full line of real estate information services for which the company is known today.
With the implementation of a computerized database, new services such as mortgage marketshare reports, mailing lists and electronic products then became possible. The addition of property ownership records in 1989 launched the COMPreports product line. Then, in 1993, a highly successful online service followed.
The year 1995 ushered in custom publishing for industry associations with the launching of Connecticut Banking sponsored by the Connecticut Bankers Association. The following year, BankWorld, a New England-wide conference and trade show was established in conjunction with the Connecticut Bankers Association. In the years since 1996, a wide assortment of publications and events has followed.
The introduction of new information services like Real Estate Records Search and new lines of business like Data Licensing has led to a new corporate identity.
What began as a small excursion of real estate reporting has become the vanguard for New England Real Estate and Financial Information. The Warren Group continues its assurance of comprehensive news and accurate data – a promise that’s 140 years strong and not a second out of date.