factor helping to enhance the company s reputation was undoubtedly the long-term close relationship between Insinger and Hope & Co., whose directors were Henry Hope and Pierre C├ęsar Labouchere.

Ups and downs, 1813-1840

The creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1813 led to rapid growth in the economy, which unfortunately lasted only a very short time. The former Republic of the Seven United Provinces permanently lost its dominant position in the trade and transit of goods and tropical products in Europe. London was now the international business centre for finance, insurance and trading, an area which had at one time been the province of the Amsterdam merchants. The foundation in 1824 of the Nederlandsche Handels- Maatschappij (Netherlands Trading Society) proved to be the final blow to the Amsterdam traders and bankers, as it managed to obtain a near-monopoly to exploit the colonial wealth of the Dutch East Indies, a lucrative market from which the trading houses were now excluded.

Nevertheless Insinger s future started to look brighter. With a balance sheet totalling 1.6 million guilders and capital of over 900,000 guilders, the company now belonging to Insinger s widow was in excellent health and able to rely on two very experienced partners from outside the family and on a well-established network of Dutch and international contacts. In addition, two of the founder s sons, Albrecht Frederik, nicknamed Fritz, and Jacobus Hermanus, whom everyone called Co, who had been made partners in 1811 and 1821 respectively, had received sound business training and were now ready to take over.

But Insinger also suffered from an internal structural problem: the sharp decline in its brokerage business, in which commission had been falling steadily since the turn of the century. At a time when Insinger s competitors had chosen to focus on finance, securities trading and loans guaranteed by securities, Insinger had been concentrating on trading and making transactions for its own account, pushing the financing business into the background. Changes were made at the top, with the two sons of the founder making way for the third generation Anton Frederik (Fritz II) and Maurits Herman Insinger. Insinger s profits increased slightly. However the balance sheet stagnated for years.

Economic recovery 1860-1920

In the 1860s, a fresh breeze of liberalism was blowing through the Netherlands, bringing with it a recovery in the economy and expansion in international trade, shipping and industry. Canals were built to link the North Sea to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, making these ports accessible to the most up-to-date steamships. With the reorganisation of the postal service and the introduction of the telegraph, methods of communication had also greatly improved. In the end, international trade was overwhelmingly disrupted when

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