De broers die Huis uitwisselen
De Broers Broogan
The Founders were two brothers, Geert and Rhys ten Broogan. They started the Company in 1669 as a family owned and operated an import/export/ business dealing primarily in cloth. The company contracted with foreign buyers and agents to purchase raw materials and sell the finished goods. Merchandise was shipped directly from the company’s Flemish base to the buyers.
After Geert died in 1684 Rhys began seeking investors to fund company growth. The funds were used to build or buy warehouse space in various Italian cities as well as France and England and to expand the Flemish mill as well as push into other areas such as wines and cereals. During this time period the company purchased two ships, Fluyts, to facilitate shipping.
Rhys passed away in 1689
Sons & Nephews
Daem ten Broogan
Corst ten Broogan
Nijs ten Broogan
Jannes ten Broogan
Jo ten Broogan
Under their leadership the Company has grown dramatically. DBB now has warehouses and Agents scattered throughout Europe as well as in New Amsterdam and (recently) Jamaica. The company now has nine ships, five Fluyts and four Brigs. Funding for this has come from private investors buying limited shares in the Company (The Family retains the controlling majority) and trading success has been insured by giving shares to key employees so as to cement their loyalties and interests with the Company.
These Directors are all getting up there in years and have passed on much of the day to day operations to their children. There are twenty three sons and daughters that serve the Company in various capacities. Only the sons travel overseas or out of Amsterdam. They generally run or oversee the local operations in the different cities. None of the Family are sea Captains or sailors. The ship captains are all professionals hired in for their expertise.
The Ship Captains
A qualified Captain in DBB service is paid a monthly wage 9 ducats (This is about three quarters of the normal rate for a qualified sea captain) and, at signing the Captain receives one half of one share in the Company. Upon return of a successful voyage the captain will receive anywhere from one quarter to one half of a share (depending on the length of the trip etc) Each additional voyage earns an additional one quarter to one half share. FULL DBB shares can be sold back to the Company at an agreed value of 48 ducats each or they will pay dividends of 10 ducats per year per Quarter share (40 ducats for a full share.). Dividends are paid at Christmas time each year and are deposited in the Captain’s account, along with accumulated pay for the benefit of the Captain’s dependents, if any. Dividends are paid for life, even after the Captain retires or leaves the Company, as long as the shares are held. Additionally, the Company pays Bonuses on stock if there are windfalls during the course of each year. The exact value varies, and while it is possible to not have a bonus, DBB has paid an average bonus of four Florin per share each year for the past ten.
By contract the Captain is limited to a maximum ownership percentage of half a percent. This represents, at the present time, 100 full shares.
In the Caribbean, the DBB maintains offices and warehouses in Port Royal Jamaica and in Willemstad Curacao. Though Port Royal is English (Willemstad is Dutch) the company runs much of its business out of Port Royal. This is because Willemstad is dominated by he Dutch West Indies Company which depresses prices and raises costs for competitors. The Caribbean offices are primarily involved in bringing finished goods from Europe for resale in the colonies and the acquisition of raw materials, spices, food products, chocolate, coffee, rare woods and similar high value commodities to return to Europe.
So far the DBB lacks contacts in Africa to become involved in the slave trade, a fact that suites a majority of the Directors at this time.
Though the DBB has no official policy in regards to privateering, it was a fortunate encounter with a French merchant ship, during the War of the Spanish Succession, by one of the DBB's two Fluyts that helped fund the company's acquisition of additional ships and spur its overseas growth.