Our History

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. started in 1939 as a distributor of steel reinforcing bar in Los Angeles, California. Within ten years, we had become a full-line distributor of steel and aluminum. The postwar industry in the United States, coupled with visionary leadership, allowed us to pursue a decades-long course of expansion through growth and acquisition. This paved the way for our IPO in 1994. Since then, Reliance has completed more than 65 acquisitions. Our Family of Companies is a network of more than 300 locations in 40 states and 13 countries outside of the United States. Today, Reliance is a Fortune 500 company and a leading diversified metal solutions provider, offering value-added metals processing services and distributing over 100,000 metal products to more than 125,000 customers in a broad range of industries.

Thomas Neilan Founder of RSAC

Thomas Neilan establishes Reliance Steel Products Company, a distributor of steel reinforcing bar, on February 3, 1939, in Los Angeles, California.

Allied Supply Company 1947

Reliance subleases 6,600 square feet of warehouse space from Allied Supply Company on 37th Street in the city of Vernon, just outside Downtown Los Angeles.

Reliance Steel Truck 1947

In 1944, the company name is changed to Reliance Steel Co.

Young Gimbel

In 1947, Thomas Neilan offers to fund his nephew's graduate studies at Harvard if he will work at Reliance for a year. William Gimbel accepts and joins Reliance as Warehouseman. Little does he know he will never go back to school. Reliance records $1.2M in revenue.

Reliance Steel 1940s

Reliance’s product offering in 1948 expands to include aluminum. The following year, Reliance becomes the nation's first distributor of magnesium.

Slitter

Reliance makes its first acquisition in 1952: Carthage Steel Strip, in South Gate, California. The addition of precision cutting equipment, at the time a very new technology, greatly expands business capabilities.

RSAC Under Construction

By 1952, sales have reached $4M and 7 acres have been purchased on 26th Street in Vernon, CA, to accommodate the company’s growth during the postwar manufacturing boom. Building begins on what will become Reliance’s flagship warehouse and company headquarters.

Reliance Steel Truck

In 1956, the company is renamed for a second time to reflect its expanding product lines, assuming the name it holds today: Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.

Gimbel 1950s

After moving from Warehouseman to Manager to Vice President, William Gimbel succeeds as President upon the death of his uncle, Reliance founder Thomas Neilan, in 1957.

Sheet Metal

In 1962, Bill Gimbel commissions the manufacture and installation of a semi-automatic rack storage system to house metal sheet and coil in unused vertical warehouse space. These “pigeon holes” vastly improve storage and operations, and establish Reliance as an innovator in metals handling.

Timeline 4th Edition Catalog

Following Effron Steel Co. in 1960 and Westates Steel Co. in 1962, Drake Steel is acquired in 1963. Drake's Fresno Sales Manager, Joe Crider, begins a long and successful career with the company. Reliance now boasts five locations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Santa Clara, San Diego, and Fresno.

Metalrama Exhibition

In 1966, Reliance and some of our vendors hold “Metal-Rama” to give shareholders and customers a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art steel processing facility. It is a hugely successful event.

Joe Crider & Bill Gimbel

Joe Crider is made Executive Vice President in 1975. During the next 12 years, Bill Gimbel and Joe Crider are called “perhaps the best known management team in the service center industry” by Metal Center News.

Tube Service

Reliance makes a first step towards entering the specialty metals market establishing Tube Service Co. in 1975-6. Its success leads to a second location opening in Milpitas, California, three years later.

Bralco

Bralco Metals in Pico Rivera, California is acquired in 1977. Bralco is a major west coast distributor of aluminum, brass and copper sheet, bar and rod products.

Metal Center Slitter

In another move towards specialty metals service centers, Reliance MetalCenter, Inc. (now MetalCenter) is established in 1980, housing all nonferrous operations in Southern California.

1980

In 1987, William Gimbel becomes Chairman (in addition to Chief Executive Officer); Joe Crider is promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.

HR Manufacturer

When Valex is added to the family roster in 1986, Reliance gains entry to the semiconductor industry.

William Gimbel & Joe Crider

In 1987, William Gimbel becomes Chairman (in addition to Chief Executive Officer); Joe Crider is promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.

1980s

By 1989, Reliance's 50th anniversary, sales top $350M, and the company remains poised for continued growth.

Hannah Crider Mollins 1997

After turning around the faltering Santa Clara division, Gregg Mollins joins the corporate management team as Vice President in 1992. In 1995, Dave Hannah is promoted to President and Gregg to Chief Operating Officer.

Reliance Steel listed on the NYSE

On September 16, 1994, Reliance issues 3.5 million new shares in its IPO, raising $45.9M and making Reliance a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RS.”

Reliance NYSE

William Gimbel, pictured here with his wife, Georgina and Joe Crider, at the New York Stock Exchange when Reliance completes its IPO. Gimbel retires later in 1994 but remains Chairman of the Board until 1997 (and Chair Emeritus until his passing in 1998).

Reliance in Tennessee

In 1996 Reliance acquires Siskin Steel & Supply Co., headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is one of the oldest companies in the industry and an "integral part of our strategy to become a national company with operations extending beyond the Western half of the United States," according to David Hannah.

Reliance Aerospace

With the additions of AMI Metals, Inc. and Service Steel Aerospace Corp. in 1997, Reliance enters the aerospace industry. With sales at $654M, Reliance logs its 6th consecutive year of record sales.

AR Mollins Hannah Lewis

In 1999, Joe Crider retires as Chief Executive Officer, succeeded by Dave Hannah, who also remains President until Gregg Mollins becomes President & Chief Operating Officer in 2001. Also in 1999, Karla Lewis (then McDowell) is appointed Chief Financial Officer.

Reliance Steel Downtown LA

In 2001, Reliance corporate headquarters moves from industrial Vernon to downtown Los Angeles' Bunker Hill financial district.

Fortune

Reliance is named to Forbes magazines' “Platinum 400” list of America’s Best Big Companies for the first time in 2001. Three years later, Reliance is named to Fortune magazine's list of “America’s Most Admired Companies” list.

Toll Processing

Reliance expands into toll processing through the acquisition of Precision Strip, Inc. and, its subsidiary, Precision Strip Transport, Inc. in 2003.

Fortune 500

In 2005, Reliance is named “Acquirer of Choice” by MSCI's Forward magazine. In 2007, Reliance is named to Fortune magazine's list of top 500 companies for the first time.

Earle M. Jorgensen

In 2006, Reliance acquires its longtime and well respected competitor, Earle M. Jorgensen Company. The addition of EMJ's numerous facilities expands Reliance's presence across the United States and Canada. The deal marks Reliance's first acquisition of a public company and is partially funded using Reliance stock.

Reliance Steel Companies

In August 2008, Reliance acquires the PNA Group of 23 service centers and seven joint ventures. This acquisition adds Delta Steel, LP, Feralloy Corporation, Infra-Metals Co., Metals Supply Company, Ltd., Precision Flamecutting and Steel, LP and Sugar Steel to Reliance's family of companies.

Reliance Steel NYSE 15 Year Anniversary

Reliance executive officers ring the closing bell at the NYSE in 2009 to mark the 15th anniversary of the company's IPO.

Reliance Steel Logo

In 2014 Reliance celebrated our 75th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of our IPO. We unveiled a new logo in commemoration of these dual milestones.

In 2013 and 2014, Reliance acquired Haskins Steel. Co., Inc., All Metal Services, Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co., and Fox Metals. The companies expand Reliance’s footprint deeper in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and internationally especially in the aerospace and energy sectors.

Reliance added four companies to the Family in 2016 and 2017: Tubular Steel, Inc., which distributes and processes tubing and bar products; Best Manufacturing, Inc., who provides custom precision metal fabrication; Alaska Steel Co., which brought our presence to 40 U.S. states; and Ferguson Perforating, which specializes in highly engineered and complex perforated metals.

Reliance Cares

Reliance establishes Reliance Cares. The purpose of this employee assistance fund is to support members of our Family of Companies who are impacted by federal natural disasters.

Acquisitions made in 2018 include DuBose National Energy Services, Inc., KMS Fab LLC, and All Metals Processing and Logistics, which all provide value added services in industries such as nuclear, automotive, and construction. In 2018, Reliance also achieved record net sales of $11.8 billion, record pre-tax income of $850.6 million, a record annual gross profit of $3.3 billion, and record non-GAAP EPA of $8.94.

In 2019, Reliance commemorated its 80th anniversary and celebrated 25 years on the New York Stock Exchange. The company also achieved a record stock close of $122.17 and its highest ranking on the Fortune 500 list – 275. We closed out the year with the acquisition of Fry Steel.

Fast Metals Logo

With an eye on the future and focus on innovation, Reliance launches its first e-commerce business, FastMetals, Inc. in February 2020. Located in Massillon, Ohio, FastMetals ships nationwide and has direct access to Reliance’s vast network of metals service center locations, which carry over 100,000 products.

Thomas Neilan Founder of RSAC

Thomas Neilan establishes Reliance Steel Products Company, a distributor of steel reinforcing bar, on February 3, 1939, in Los Angeles, California.

Allied Supply Company 1947

Reliance subleases 6,600 square feet of warehouse space from Allied Supply Company on 37th Street in the city of Vernon, just outside Downtown Los Angeles.

Reliance Steel Truck 1947

In 1944, the company name is changed to Reliance Steel Co.

Young Gimbel

In 1947, Thomas Neilan offers to fund his nephew's graduate studies at Harvard if he will work at Reliance for a year. William Gimbel accepts and joins Reliance as Warehouseman. Little does he know he will never go back to school. Reliance records $1.2M in revenue.

Reliance Steel 1940s

Reliance’s product offering in 1948 expands to include aluminum. The following year, Reliance becomes the nation's first distributor of magnesium.

Slitter

Reliance makes its first acquisition in 1952: Carthage Steel Strip, in South Gate, California. The addition of precision cutting equipment, at the time a very new technology, greatly expands business capabilities.

RSAC Under Construction

By 1952, sales have reached $4M and 7 acres have been purchased on 26th Street in Vernon, CA, to accommodate the company’s growth during the postwar manufacturing boom. Building begins on what will become Reliance’s flagship warehouse and company headquarters.

Reliance Steel Truck

In 1956, the company is renamed for a second time to reflect its expanding product lines, assuming the name it holds today: Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.

Gimbel 1950s

After moving from Warehouseman to Manager to Vice President, William Gimbel succeeds as President upon the death of his uncle, Reliance founder Thomas Neilan, in 1957.

Sheet Metal

In 1962, Bill Gimbel commissions the manufacture and installation of a semi-automatic rack storage system to house metal sheet and coil in unused vertical warehouse space. These “pigeon holes” vastly improve storage and operations, and establish Reliance as an innovator in metals handling.

Timeline 4th Edition Catalog

Following Effron Steel Co. in 1960 and Westates Steel Co. in 1962, Drake Steel is acquired in 1963. Drake's Fresno Sales Manager, Joe Crider, begins a long and successful career with the company. Reliance now boasts five locations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Santa Clara, San Diego, and Fresno.

Metalrama Exhibition

In 1966, Reliance and some of our vendors hold “Metal-Rama” to give shareholders and customers a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art steel processing facility. It is a hugely successful event.

Joe Crider & Bill Gimbel

Joe Crider is made Executive Vice President in 1975. During the next 12 years, Bill Gimbel and Joe Crider are called “perhaps the best known management team in the service center industry” by Metal Center News.

Tube Service

Reliance makes a first step towards entering the specialty metals market establishing Tube Service Co. in 1975-6. Its success leads to a second location opening in Milpitas, California, three years later.

Bralco

Bralco Metals in Pico Rivera, California is acquired in 1977. Bralco is a major west coast distributor of aluminum, brass and copper sheet, bar and rod products.

Metal Center Slitter

In another move towards specialty metals service centers, Reliance MetalCenter, Inc. (now MetalCenter) is established in 1980, housing all nonferrous operations in Southern California.

1980

In 1987, William Gimbel becomes Chairman (in addition to Chief Executive Officer); Joe Crider is promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.

HR Manufacturer

When Valex is added to the family roster in 1986, Reliance gains entry to the semiconductor industry.

William Gimbel & Joe Crider

In 1987, William Gimbel becomes Chairman (in addition to Chief Executive Officer); Joe Crider is promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.

1980s

By 1989, Reliance's 50th anniversary, sales top $350M, and the company remains poised for continued growth.

Hannah Crider Mollins 1997

After turning around the faltering Santa Clara division, Gregg Mollins joins the corporate management team as Vice President in 1992. In 1995, Dave Hannah is promoted to President and Gregg to Chief Operating Officer.

Reliance Steel listed on the NYSE

On September 16, 1994, Reliance issues 3.5 million new shares in its IPO, raising $45.9M and making Reliance a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RS.”

Reliance NYSE

William Gimbel, pictured here with his wife, Georgina and Joe Crider, at the New York Stock Exchange when Reliance completes its IPO. Gimbel retires later in 1994 but remains Chairman of the Board until 1997 (and Chair Emeritus until his passing in 1998).

Reliance in Tennessee

In 1996 Reliance acquires Siskin Steel & Supply Co., headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is one of the oldest companies in the industry and an "integral part of our strategy to become a national company with operations extending beyond the Western half of the United States," according to David Hannah.

Reliance Aerospace

With the additions of AMI Metals, Inc. and Service Steel Aerospace Corp. in 1997, Reliance enters the aerospace industry. With sales at $654M, Reliance logs its 6th consecutive year of record sales.

AR Mollins Hannah Lewis

In 1999, Joe Crider retires as Chief Executive Officer, succeeded by Dave Hannah, who also remains President until Gregg Mollins becomes President & Chief Operating Officer in 2001. Also in 1999, Karla Lewis (then McDowell) is appointed Chief Financial Officer.

Reliance Steel Downtown LA

In 2001, Reliance corporate headquarters moves from industrial Vernon to downtown Los Angeles' Bunker Hill financial district.

Fortune

Reliance is named to Forbes magazines' “Platinum 400” list of America’s Best Big Companies for the first time in 2001. Three years later, Reliance is named to Fortune magazine's list of “America’s Most Admired Companies” list.

Toll Processing

Reliance expands into toll processing through the acquisition of Precision Strip, Inc. and, its subsidiary, Precision Strip Transport, Inc. in 2003.

Fortune 500

In 2005, Reliance is named “Acquirer of Choice” by MSCI's Forward magazine. In 2007, Reliance is named to Fortune magazine's list of top 500 companies for the first time.

Earle M. Jorgensen

In 2006, Reliance acquires its longtime and well respected competitor, Earle M. Jorgensen Company. The addition of EMJ's numerous facilities expands Reliance's presence across the United States and Canada. The deal marks Reliance's first acquisition of a public company and is partially funded using Reliance stock.

Reliance Steel Companies

In August 2008, Reliance acquires the PNA Group of 23 service centers and seven joint ventures. This acquisition adds Delta Steel, LP, Feralloy Corporation, Infra-Metals Co., Metals Supply Company, Ltd., Precision Flamecutting and Steel, LP and Sugar Steel to Reliance's family of companies.

Reliance Steel NYSE 15 Year Anniversary

Reliance executive officers ring the closing bell at the NYSE in 2009 to mark the 15th anniversary of the company's IPO.

Reliance Steel Logo

In 2014 Reliance celebrated our 75th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of our IPO. We unveiled a new logo in commemoration of these dual milestones.

In 2013 and 2014, Reliance acquired Haskins Steel. Co., Inc., All Metal Services, Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co., and Fox Metals. The companies expand Reliance’s footprint deeper in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and internationally especially in the aerospace and energy sectors.

Reliance added four companies to the Family in 2016 and 2017: Tubular Steel, Inc., which distributes and processes tubing and bar products; Best Manufacturing, Inc., who provides custom precision metal fabrication; Alaska Steel Co., which brought our presence to 40 U.S. states; and Ferguson Perforating, which specializes in highly engineered and complex perforated metals.

Reliance Cares

Reliance establishes Reliance Cares. The purpose of this employee assistance fund is to support members of our Family of Companies who are impacted by federal natural disasters.

Acquisitions made in 2018 include DuBose National Energy Services, Inc., KMS Fab LLC, and All Metals Processing and Logistics, which all provide value added services in industries such as nuclear, automotive, and construction. In 2018, Reliance also achieved record net sales of $11.8 billion, record pre-tax income of $850.6 million, a record annual gross profit of $3.3 billion, and record non-GAAP EPA of $8.94.

In 2019, Reliance commemorated its 80th anniversary and celebrated 25 years on the New York Stock Exchange. The company also achieved a record stock close of $122.17 and its highest ranking on the Fortune 500 list – 275. We closed out the year with the acquisition of Fry Steel.

Fast Metals Logo

With an eye on the future and focus on innovation, Reliance launches its first e-commerce business, FastMetals, Inc. in February 2020. Located in Massillon, Ohio, FastMetals ships nationwide and has direct access to Reliance’s vast network of metals service center locations, which carry over 100,000 products.