Princely Exploration and Trading Company
|Type||Multinational conglomerate and trading company|
(see Branches of Operation)
1638 AN (as the Iron Company)|
1690 AN (Restructured as the Princely Exploration and Trading Company)
|Key people||Jana Drakeford-Al Basani, Huw Pritchard|
The Princely Exploration and Trading Company (Calbic: Cwmni Archwilio a Masnach Tywysogaidd) is a state-owned multinational business conglomerate, trading company, private military company and financial institution. It traces its origens to the Iron Company, which is its legal predecessor. The Iron Company was founded in 1638 AN by Ludovic Verion and Joachim Brunswick in Shireroth..
The Company is active in many different economic brances, from insurance and banking to trade missions. Throughout its rather interesting history, the company has had ups and downs, as it had since its conception been one of the most influential businesses on Micras.
It saw some heavy setbacks during the 1670's and 1680's, during which it was banned from most of the nations it had headquarters. A conflict with the Florian government sparked the Verionian–Raspur War, while its tight ties with the Batavian government led to thorough counter-offensive of cabinet Montrarde and the company's freezing of funds in Batavia. The heavy rhetoric of the company's board when being obstructed by state government's, has led it to be labelled as a terrorist organisation among some countries.
Following the assertion of Verionist states on Benacia and in Keltia, such as Gran Verionia and later the Free State of Chryse, the Company saw a resurgence. Political influence of the Raspur Pact however made for a hostile business climate, and saw the Company withdraw all its assets and personal from Benacia in 1689, and restructure itself in Calbion. The Company received a charter from the Prince of the Calbain in 1690, after which it was renamed to the Princely Exploration and Trading Company. Jana Al-Basani serves as High Director.
From its conception, the Iron Company has been closely intertwined with the Verion family of Shireroth. It was founded in 1638 by Ludovic Verion. Following his graduation from Lewis College in Cimmeria, Verion moved to Goldshire. Under the reign of Queen Noor bint Daniyal, Goldshire had experienced a period of economic growth. Especially the Golshire mines were more productive than ever. Verion seized the opportunity and started the Iron Company by selling insurance to miners and mine owners. This proved a popular and profitable investment, and the Iron Company became a household name.
Not long after, Joachim Brunswick, heir to the Brunswick family that had made a vast amount of money in industry in the Syrelwynn valley, contacted Verion. The Brunswick run JM Group had experienced economic difficulty. The two agreed that the banking and industry branches of the JM Group would become a subsidiary of the Iron Company. Brunswick subsequently became a governor in the Iron Company.
After the Verion family was forced into exile, the island of Blackstone became a safe haven for the noble family. One of the first acts of the Council of Ten, the governing body of Blackstone, was to grant the Iron Company a Charter which gave the company significant privileges, such as the right to mint currency, form a militia and set up colonies on behalf of the government of Blackstone.
1644 was a turbulent year for the Iron Company. After supporting a coup against incumbent Shirithian Kaiser Dominus, the company initially propered tremendeously and raked in vast amounts of money from dubious defence contracts. However, the tables turned after the Landsraad of Shireroth, and several leaders of Imperial States forced the new Kaiser Aurangzeb II Steffki to abdicate in favour of Kaiseress Noor, who quickly sought to prosecute those involved in the bloody coup. Ludovic Verion fled the country and lost his position as Governor-General of the Iron Company. Aside from that, Jingdao seized the moment to occupy both Blackstone and Calbion, two very important trading hubs for the Company. In the following years, the Company lost significant revenue, and began to restructure its operations.
Following corporate restructuring, the Iron Company quickly expanded and strengthened its business operations in key areas. A major boost for the company came with its involvement in the North Raynor Sea and the eventual independence of Los Liberados, a nation in which the Iron Company has a significant stake, and that provided a significant amount of new revenue. In late 1669 and early 1670, lucrative deals with the Shirithian government and several other multinational trading companies established the Iron Company as one of the largest Micrasian companies in terms of revenue.
In the aftermath of the combined reactor failure and biohazard incident at the Titus Morvayne Research Centre outside Zolt on 15.XII.1675, international opinion turned decisively against the Verionist movement and all its ancillary parts, including the Iron Company. In the subsequent year the Raspur Pact, taking advantage of the violent reaction to the Verionists in the Northern Commonwealth, oversaw the confiscation and dismantling of all Iron Company assets located in the territories of Pact members. Those Iron Company vessels which had not already completed the dash for sanctuary in a Verionist enclave in southern Keltia faced the prospect of interdiction by Pact navies wherein those merchant vessels not sunk out of hand would be towed to the port of Rothaven for the auction of their crews and cargo and the scrapping of the ships themselves. Its tight ties with the Batavian government led to thorough counter-offensive of cabinet Montrarde and the company's freezing of funds in Batavia. The
The Iron Company continued to maintain and protect their trade network, and saw themselves surrounded by increasingly hostile nations and competitors. The ascension of the Florian Republic, in which the Company had significant investments, to the Raspur Pact was unacceptable to the Board of Governance. A punitive expedition that followed led to the Verionian-Raspur War, which was fought from 1680 to 1683. Following the Treaty of Corcovado, the Iron Company's relationship with some of the Raspur countries improved significantly. In 1683, Jana Al-Basani, the former Governor of Chryste, was voted as Governor-General of the Iron Company.
Branches of operation
Banking and Insurance
The historical core business of the Iron Company was insurance. The Company acquired a lot of its wealth by selling insurance to miners and to owners of the various gold, and silver mines of Goldshire. Later, the insurance branch expanded to ship owners, who wanted to protect their investments by insuring the goods or ships that were engaged in the international trade. Pirates, storms and unidentified creatures of the sea were common dangers for those brave souls who dared to cross the ocean in order to get rich, so selling insurances was a lucrative business. Following from the selling of insurance, the Iron Company also began to give loans and started selling mortgages.
The Iron Militia, the Company's private security arm, is the largest private military on Micras. The militia is under the command of the Grand-Governor of the Iron Company. The Militia was originally established to protect the warehouses and shipyards of the Iron Company, but has expanded greatly since. The Iron Company has provided the national security of provinces and nations, such as Blackstone and Los Liberados.
A core interest continues to be safeguarding the interests of the Iron Company and it does this in several different ways. In the oversees territories controlled by the Iron Company, such as trade posts, the Militia serves as a defense army. At sea, the Militia provides protection for the vulnerable ships that sail all over the globe, and is an important actor in the protection of international shipping lanes. The Iron Fleet, the naval arm of the militia, currently has a fleet of over a hundred military vessels.
Analysis and Assessment
The Office of Shadows, that serves as an intelligence gathering service for the Company, was established in 1650 in order to provide crucial risk assessment for the company and its investors.
Goldshire's gold, and silver mines were not only a source of income to the Iron Company with regard to selling insurance, but the Company also started to exploit its own mines. Engineers of the Company invented ways to extract the precious metalsfrom the earth in a more cost-efficient manner than the methods used by other mines, so the Iron Company was able to gain a competitive advantage, and used this to buy out many of the other miners in the Golshirithian heartland. The Iron Company set up protected roads to transport the gold and silver to the port cities of Elsenar. The Elsenari mines remain one of the most profitable enterprises of the Company.
The Company has three main industrial hubs where products, mostly steel and iron, are produced: Fieldburg, Elsenar and Kasterburg. Most of the industry used by the Company is relegated to subsidaries or partners.
A partnership with the Imperial State of Constancia greatly expanded the potential for the Iron Company to be involved in industry.
Food and spices
Following the expansion of the colonial network of the Company, food and spices became an important product of trade.
The Iron Company trades, among others, Fruit (Los Liberados, Alrodey), grain and agricultural products (Kasterburg, Natopia, Elsenar, Palesmenia) and alcoholic beaverages (Cimmeria, Los Liberados).
Infrastructure and travel
The Iron Company has built a high-end network of roads in various countries where it has running operations. Aside from this, the Iron Company operates the international airports in Kasterburg, Puerto Arcadio, and Corcovado. It owns both the Nakalma and Liberair airlines.
A slightly less profitable venture was the creation of Iron Airships. After Count Ryker Everstone entered a career in the Shirithian capital of Shirekeep, he neglected his Airship company, Ryker Airships. The Iron Company saw this as an opportunity to start out in the airship business as well. Some older ships of the R.A.S. were bought and updated. Unfortunately, the I.A.S. was not as popular as the larger R.A.S. and did not manage to gain the largest share of the market. Rumours that the Iron Company sought to reverse this situation by publishing negative reports on Ryker Airships in the Iron Gazette are not substantiated.
The Iron Company has three main subsidiaries: the JM Group, a financial service provider based in Fieldburg, Shireroth; the Liberadosan Banana Company, which runs plantations in Los Liberados, and VolksCorp, an industrial conglomerate in the Florian Republic.