expanded in a prudent manner, and two small stockbrokers were acquired. Between 1913 and 1922 the capital increased from 150,000 guilders to 300,000 guilders. One interesting innovation was that the firm was one of the first to print a set of general conditions for the convenience of its clients.
In 1929 the firm faced a liquidity crisis which was the result of several transactions that had not turned out well, plus the need to buy out the heirs of a former partner. On 30 October 1929 the bank was forced to go into receivership. Luckily, within three weeks, with the help of a group of prominent Amsterdam businessmen, the bank was saved and reconstituted as a Naamloze Vennootschap (limited liability company). From then on it operated as N.V. de Wed. Tjeenk & Co. (Wed. Tjeenk).
The 50% controlling shareholder was the Nederlandsche Standaardbank. Its two managing directors, Baron Cornelis J. Collot d Escury and A.Q. Mees became members of the supervisory board. Baron Collot d Escury, who chaired the board until 1961, was to be an important man for the future of the Wed. Tjeenk. It should be noted here that in his capacity as Managing Director of the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij since 1934 and later as its president (1949-1957), he was until 1966 for 26 years a member of the Advisory Council of the Amsterdam branch of Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas.
After the Second World War, Wed. Tjeenk absorbed three small stockbrokers. In 1952 the bank numbered some 800 custody accounts with assets of about 60 million guilders. However, the Bank remained a relative minor player as shown by the following modest key figures:
(Amounts in 1,000 guilders) 1947 1948 1949 1950
Balance sheet total 3,005 1,764 1,765 1,622
Deposits & Clients funds 2,241 1,351 1,303 1,084
Profit 12 14 8 4
In 1948 the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij took control of the bank in an undisclosed move. The reason for the non-disclosure was to prevent clients from leaving Wed. Tjeenk for other banks. It must be assumed that Baron Collot d Escury played a role in this important development. In 1960 cooperation with the Nederlandsche Handel- Maatschappij was crystallised when the NHM provided a formal guarantee to the creditors of Wed. Tjeenk and also took over a sizeable part of the back-office activities.
166 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E N E T H E R L A N D S