In 1821 he entered a banking-house newly established at St Petersburg, but returned two years later to Paris, where he was appointed cashier to the Caisse Hypothecaire.
He graduated from Harvard in 1880 (in the class with Theodore Roosevelt), and the following year entered the banking house of Lee, Higginson & Co., in Boston.
His income was insufficient for the proper support of his family, and accordingly he had become partner in a banking house in which one of his sons was interested along with other persons.
Transferred in the same year to the commissariat department as a captain, he resigned three years later and went back to California to conduct at San Francisco a branch of an important St Louis banking-house.
He became clerk in the banking house of Perregaux in Paris, was made a partner in the business in 1800, and in 1804 succeeded Perregaux as head of the firm.