trading in agricultural commodities moved to the producing countries, and new specialised companies were founded to sell manufactured goods. The cousins Fritz Insinger II and Maurits Insinger had thus taken over the company from their fathers at just the right moment. The balance sheet total rose rapidly from 800,000 to 2 million guilders, and capital increased to 1.7 million guilders. This was due to a change of direction at the firm, the two partners having decided to replace the own-account activity with brokerage business. Nevertheless, between 1860 and 1920, Insinger remained both a bank and a trading house. The import transactions it was involved in were mainly for sugar and cotton, sometimes non-ferrous metals such as copper and tin, plus wine, rum and arak. Insinger also exported all kinds of goods to the Dutch colonies. Meanwhile the the company also continued to run its currency dealing business.
After the departure of his cousin in 1877, Fritz Insinger II started to expand the company s activities, encouraged by the economic recovery in Amsterdam. The burgeoning city population required intensive building works. Insinger worked closely with construction companies, and began to grant them short-term mortgages, enabling them to acquire land for housebuilding. Later on, mortgage-backed loans were also granted to both companies and private individuals. From 1881 onwards, revenue rose sharply. Then in 1891 the company made a direct investment in real estate development by founding Maatschappij voor Huizenhandel (the Housing Trading Company), better known as the Huizenmaatschappij.
Trading activity goes on
In parallel with its banking business, Insinger continued to trade in products from the tropics. Fritz and Co Insinger s heirs still owned cocoa, coffee, bananas, sugar and cotton plantations in Surinam. In 1874, in a bid to consolidate these assets, they founded N.V. Cultuurmaatschappij ( Cultivation Company ). In accordance with the company statutes, only the direct descendents of Fritz Insinger s wife, Wilhelmina Jacoba Insinger, née Borski, were permitted to exchange their individual shares in the plantations for shares in the new company. In 1899, the company went into cocoa refining when it acquired Betke s Hollandsche Cacaofabriek (The Betke Dutch Cocoa Factory) in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, the business in Surinam never met the partners long-term expectations and results remained disappointing, with only the years 1916 and 1918 showing a profit.
In 1884, a worldwide sugar overproduction crisis caused the collapse of plantations and a number of credit institutions linked to them, but opened up new opportunities for Insinger which was able to buy two coffee plantations in the Dutch East Indies Assinan (together with Stommi) and Nobo (together with Klepoe) from their bankrupt owners. Insinger also became involved with other plantations Djoerang Banteng, Loenggoer Redjo, Pakellan, Mas Bandji, Tlogosari and Javasche Koffie Cultuur Maatschappij (Java Coffee Cultivation Company) prefinancing harvests which were later sold on the Amsterdam market.
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