Iron Company

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Iron Company
Type Multinational conglomerate and trading company
Industry Various
(see Branches of Operation)
Founded 1638 AN
Headquarters Chryse, Shireroth & Puerto Arcadio, Los Liberados
Key people Ludovic Verion, Stephen Lewis, Jacobo Castrigo Álvarez
Products Various

The Iron Company is a multinational business conglomerate, trading company, private military company and financial institution founded in 1638 AN by Ludovic Verion and Joachim Brunswick in Shireroth. The Iron 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, but it has since its conception been one of the most influential businesses on Micras.

History

1638-1644

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.

Merchants buying insurance at the Company headquarters in Chryse, Goldshire

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.

1644-1668

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.

1668-present

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.

Governance

The governing structure of the Iron Company saw a significant overhaul in the 1660's. Declining business, and some implications following close political involvement forced the Company to rethink its strategy. Many of the problems the Company suffered in markets such as Jingdao and Shireroth were directly related to actions by one or two strong characters that dominated the company. In order to avoid this, a clear governing structure was established.

The Iron Company continues to be lead by a board of Governance that is chaired by the Grand-Governor. The Governors decide the overall direction of the operations of the Company. But whereas before, only a small number of representatives had free reign in crucial areas of operation, the current Company has set out a clear division of the different parts of Micras in which the Company is involved. Rather than being beholden to a single Representative, the Company has created a sub layer of governance. In the past, although the governors officially have an equal position within the Company (the Grand-Governor being the primus inter pares), in practice there was a great difference of influence between the members of the Council. For instance, Villiam Al-Basani, as Governor-Representative of the Royal Iron Company, had control over all operatons in Goldshire in the 1640's, which was by then the most important field of operations for the Company and as such had an incredibly crucial position.

The current Company has its areas of operation divided into five regions.

  • Region I (Shireroth)
  • Region II (Mainland Batavia, Kasterburg)
  • Region III (Nova Batavia, Trade around the Great Western Sea)
  • Region IV (Cibola, Tapfer and Eura)
  • Region V (Los Liberados, Apollonia and Keltia)

Current Board of Governance

  • Ludovic Verion, Governor-General
    Declared incapacitated by the Governing Board following his disappearance in 1644
  • Stephen Lewis (Governor-Regent; Governor Region I)
    • John Brunswick (Governor-Representative, Fieldburg)
    • Eki Verion (Governor-Representative, Cimmeria)
    • Regina Verion (Governor-Representative, Elsenar)
  • Alexander Galon (Governor, Region II)
    • Walter Rauschning (Governor-Representative, Kasterburg)
    • Jonathan Vröml (Governor-Representative, Batavia)
  • Sebastién de Montfort (Governor, Region III)
    • Tobias Contarini (Governor-Representative, Palesmenia)
    • James Sherrinford (Governor-Represenative, Nova Batavia)
  • Peter Mikkelsen (Governor, Region IV)
    • Hamid al-Rikabi (Governor-Representative, Eura)
  • Umberto Vargas (Governor, Region V)
    • Jacobo Castrigo (Governor-Representative, Los Liberados)
    • Julius Wallace (Governor-Representative, Florian Republic)

Areas of Operation

The Iron Company has business dealings all over Micras. It is active in many different countries, either directly or through subsidaries. In some countries, the Company provides services of governance, while in others, the main focus is on import and export of goods.

Flag Country Years active Operations
Blackstone flag.png Blackstone 1636 - 1648 The Lordship of Blackstone has been associated with the Iron Company from the start. An institutionally established connection between the government of Blackstone and the Company. One of the seats of the former government, the Council of Ten of the island was reserved for a representative of the Iron Company. The international headquarters of the company, as well as the Mint, the Stock Exchange and the shipyards were located on the island. The Iron Company also controlled the Blackstonian colony of Itteria. The island of Blackstone was the centre of the business operations of the Company until 1648, when the island was occupied by Jingdao and the Iron Company ceased its operations.
Shire flag.png Shireroth 1636 - present The Iron Company was first established in the Shirithian state of Goldshire, where the Iron Company received a royal warrant. Subsequently, the Goldshirithian branch of the Company became known as the Royal Iron Company. The Royal Iron Company was granted an exclusive right to mine iron, aluminium and nickel in the Counties of Elsenar, Suthergold, and Amity—Mirioth—So-Sara, as well as partial governance over the harbour cities of Chryse, New Harbor and Erudition. The Royal Iron Company established trading posts in those ities that served as the hubs of transit for the shipping of goods. These arrangements became controversial and were largely reversed in 1644, although the Company has always continued to have a strong presence in Goldshire.

In 1643, the Iron Company entered a co-operation agreement with the Emirate of Khaz-Modan. The Iron Company would assist the Local Service Regiments in their serious duty to protect the citizens of Amity. The Iron Company also provided the Regiments with Steel from the Erudition Steelworks, as well as 250 Heavy Machine Guns, 20 Armoured vehicles, 70 missile launcers, 4 tanks and one naval supply vessel. In return, the Emir of Khaz Modan would provide the Iron Company ships with protection against pirates in the Yardistani sea, and granted the Company the privilege of tax collecting on the island of Yardistan. This agreement saw a significant change in loyalty of the Iron Company in the Civil War in Goldshire.

The association with the Verionists saw the Iron Company expand greatly in the North of Shireroth (previously Elwynn), especially following the tenure of Eki Verion as Queen in the North. Following the Third Northern Rebellion, the Company was instrumental in orchestrating a peace settlement in the North, following which the Company gained the right of autonomous government of Cimmeria, Fieldburg and Elsenar.

CalbionFlag.png Calbion 1637 - 1648 The Principality of Calbion has granted the Iron Company the governorship of the island of Port Impregnable, which serves as the main trading hub of the Company for Eastern Micras. The Company also had major ports in the Calbain cities of Pentyre, Arryn, Caer Agra, Port Rivers and Port Arenas. After the Jingdaoese occupation, the ability of the Company to operate in Calbion were reduced dramatically.
Imperial flag standard6.png Natopia 1638 - present Through the Lord Regency of Alrodey, the Verion family had influence on the Natopian island. The ports of Ashington and Rostock are the main ports used by the Iron Company. The mining of precious metals and diamonds on Alrodey was exclusively granted to the Company. The Alrodean mines continue to be one of the most profitable exploitations of the Company.
Flag Jingdao 2.png Jingdao 1640 - 1647 The Iron Company was previously active on the Jingdaoese market through the port of Tiě Gǎng. After 1647, the Jingdaoes government closed its market and chose to trade exclusively with its USSO partners.
Flandersflag.png Flanders 1641 - 1650 Marcus Lucius, Flemish politician and twice President, awarded the Iron Company several lucrative contracts. The base of operations were mainly in the Flemish province of Libreterre, and the Southern Beneluccas.
KasterburgishFlag.png Kasterburg 1658 - present The Iron Company provides financial Services in Kasterburg. It is also the main operator of international trade, through the Iron Fleet. Main centre of operations in Kasterburg is the port city of Nieuw Ingelheim. The Iron Company also owns a majority share in Jodocus van Haltna International Airfield. Kasterburg is used by the company as an entrance port to the Kalgachian and Inner-Benacian markets. The Company also administers the research facilities in Zone 14.
Vlagarcadia.png Arcadia 1663 - present The operations of the Iron Company in former Calbion were continued after the collapse of the Jingdaoese leadership on the island. Following the annexation by Arcadia, the operations in Pentyre were once again fully operational.
Batavieflag.gif Batavia 1664 - present Following the national Batavian renewal, the Iron Company opened headquarters in the Batavian city of Davignon. It expanded its operations following the Batavian Unification, and incorporated its existing operations in the Shirithian west with the new Batavian section of operations.
LosLiberadosFlag.png Los Liberados 1668 - present In 1668, the Iron Company opened its first trading post on the Liberadosan islands. Realising potential, mercantile governor Jacobo Castrigo Álvarez brought the islands under the governance of the Company, and opened its markets to international trade. Having previously been under the influence of Jingdao, this opening brought vast wealth and new hope to the Liberadosan people and is known in the country as the liberación. Following the independence of Los Liberados, the Iron Company continued to have close ties with the governing Junta de Liberación Nacional.
Palesmeniaflag.png Palesmenia 1670 - present The Iron Company expanded to Palesmenia in early 1670, when it signed an agreement with the Émprassi to establish a trading post and warehouse complex on the island of Rnârdár e-Kenzie. The main interest for the Company in Palesmenia is the significant rice production of the nation, which is shipped all across Micras, especially to Eura and Keltia, where there exist significant shortages of food. Palesmenia is also a market for steel, which the Company produces.
Florian Republic Flag.png Florian Republic 1670 - present The Company has been involved in the Florian Republic since 1667 through its subsidiary, VolksCorp, which so far hasn't been particularly successful due to restrictions on Florian industry. In 1670, the Florians expanded and gained access to the North Raynor Sea. The Company partnered with the Florian government in building Port Farrar, which is to become the main entrance of trade to and from the Republic.
-- Ralgon --.png Ralgon 1670 - present An entrepot and trading station was opened in Ralgon in 1670. The Iron Compound, heavily protected to avoid attacks by indigenous predatory animals, is located in Glacier City.
Flagbeneluccas.png Beneluccas 1670 - present In 1670, the Iron Company established its presence in the Beneluccas. The Company had a previous historic connection with the Southern Beneluccas, through Marcus Lucius, Flemish representative of the Company who led a revival movement on the Southern Beneluccas during the Flemish period. The Iron Company opened its headquarters in Ruhatyn, as well as an entrepot in the capital of Schaarlecht. The Company signed several agreements with Beneluccan pirates to work for the company as privateers, in order not to jeopardise any ventures in the Captive Sea.
The Main Trade Ports of the Iron Company, as of 1670.

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.

Security Services

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 60 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.

Mining

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.

Industry

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.

Subsidiaries

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.