In 1818 Johann Heinrich Schröder founded a banking company in London. The company prospered, focusing on the finance of trade between America and Europe, particularly in the tobacco, cotton, and sugar markets. In the 1850s the firm began issuing bonds for overseas borrowers in the London market. The company's first bond was issued in 1853 to finance the Matanzas and Sabanilla Railway in Cuba. In 1869 Schröder's strong connections with Latin America lead to the firm being appointed as the British agent for the sale of Peruvian guano – an important fertilizer at the time. A specialist department was established to handle the guano business and for the next decade made a significant contribution to the company's profits. In 1870 Schröder introduced the Japanese government's first foreign loan to the London market. This raised £1 million to finance the construction of the country's first railway, between Tokyo and Yokohama.
By the beginning of the 20th century Schröders was one of the leading banking companies in London, issuing bonds for clients around the world. Johann Heinrich Schröder died in 1910 and his nephew Baron Bruno Schröder took control of the business until 1940. In the 1950s the company name was anglicized and changed to Schroders Ltd. In the 1960s and 1970s Schroders established a presence in each of the major financial markets of the world. Subsidiary and associated companies were established to undertake investment banking and asset management activities in a number of countries around the world.
Today, Schroders is a multinational asset management company headquartered in the City of London. The company employs over 3,000 people worldwide across 34 offices in 27 different countries around Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.
by Mark Matlach
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