The Story of Nachenius, Tjeenk & Co.
In 1790, at the age of eighteen, Herman Frederik Tjeenk left the port city of Vlissingen to become an apprentice to his uncle Dirk Leuveling in Amsterdam. Dirk Leuveling was what the Dutch called a commissionair , i.e. he ran a commission house. It soon became obvious that the nephew would take over the firm, which he duly did in 1806. Herman Frederik had brought in Willem Frederik Röell as a silent partner. In the meantime, he had married Johanna Luden, who came from a family of merchants and insurance brokers. Operating from his house at 638 Keizersgracht, the activities of the firm were many and varied: securities business, new issues, investment advice, current and deposit accounts, and what was known in Dutch as prolongatiekrediet , i.e. loans guaranteed by securities. The firm also ran an Administratiekantoor (Administration Office) which issued certificates from the register of government stock. His firm progressed extremely well, but he died suddenly in November 1810.
His widow Johanna Luden, the mother of very young children, decided with great courage to continue the firm and it was from then on known as Wed. Tjeenk & Co. Frederik Röell resigned and was replaced by a cousin of her late husband, Petrus Scholten, who acted as managing partner. The partnership agreement described the activities of the firm as a Compagnieschap tot het uitvoeren van commissien, ten aankoop-verkoop- en Beleningen van Effecten (a partnership to exercise commissions for the purchase and sale of, and advances on, securities). When Johanna Luden died in 1839, Petrus Scholten was joined by his eldest son and the eldest son of the Tjeenk-Luden couple. In 1860 three new partners, the third generation of Tjeenk and Scholten, joined the firm. One of them Petrus Wilhelmus Scholten, would later be invited to become a member of the Advisory Council of the Dutch branch of Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas in Amsterdam. He was appointed in 1874 and resigned in 1913. Tjeenk & Co. also ran an Administratiekantoor that issued Dutch certificates against the original shares of companies registered abroad. For instance, from 1851 onwards, for more than eighty years, a large block of shares Illinois Central Railroad Company was held in the name of the firm. Over the years the business
PORTRAIT OF JOHANNA TJEENK-LUDEN (1780-1839)
165T H E S T O R Y O F N A C H E N I U S , TJ E E N K & C O .