Established over 180 years from the early days when it was founded in 1831 to being owned by the Ferreira family from 1978, the Furness group has become one of Trinidad’s most prosperous companies.
The Furness Group of Companies moved from being publicly listed, delisting from the stock exchange and can boast of extensive experience in a wide number of industries beginning with shipping, sugar, insurance and engineering from the early years.
Furness is still a multi-industry company and has kept some of its earlier operations such as insurance and cold storage but diversified its core operations even further, currently spanning manufacturing, distribution and service industries as well.
Employing over 400 nationals nationwide it serves as an engine of
sustainable development for our country.
Furness is a major yearly contributor towards the St John’s Ambulance Brigade of Trinidad & Tobago. Furness is proud of its growth, profitability and ability to have met the challenges of rapidly changing environments, maintaining its economic viability whilst upholding strong governance and ethical conduct.
After many years of acquiring substantial prime real estate, the group has embarked on a developmental phase of these properties with the aim of expanding their business subsidiaries. The latest completion being City Park, that of a modern multi-storey car park in the capital of Port of Spain, Trinidad. This is the beginning of this phase with several residential and commercial developments earmarked over the next few years.
In addition, Furness Anchorage Insurance is set to expand its locations throughout Trinidad and to become more digitized meeting the changing market demands and additional products lines will be added to the Shipping & Marketing subsidiary, maximizing their existing cold storage asset base.
Over the years, Furness Trinidad Limited has proven that its focus continues to be on long term sustainable growth and financial strength. This can be seen in the value of our asset base that moved from $100 million (TTD) in 1983 to $411 million (TTD), and an earnings per share of $0.19 as reported in the Audited Consolidated Financial Statements as at financial year ended December 31, 2019.
We are forever mindful that the future is uncertain and always changing but we are conscious of our duty of sustained growth and survival for our shareholders while generating value for our customers and staff.
William A FerreiraGroup Chairman / CEO
Ignatius S FerreiraChairman Emeritus
Adriana V. FerreiraDeputy Chairman / Executive Director
Marcia EdwardsGroup Finance Director
Videsh PraimExecutive Director
Patrick A. FerreiraAlternate Director
Vidya R. BissessarCorporate Secretary
John B. C. MartinNon-executive Director
Terrence Boswell-InnissNon-executive Director
VISION & MISSION
To contribute and maintain a sustained share in every industry in which we operate.
To provide our employees with a comfortable working environment at favourable terms of employment and our stockholders with the optimum return of their investment.
To satisfy our customers with the highest level of efficiency, quality service and integrity.
To serve in the best interest of our company recognising the national needs and aspirations.
Being the world's leading commerce platform requires unrivalled vision, innovation and execution.
We never settle — In everything we do, we challenge our ideas of what is possible in order to better meet the needs of our customers. We are honest, transparent and committed to doing what is best for our customers and our company.
Respect & Trust
We treat our leaders, our employees, our customers and our stakeholders respectfully and ethically. We respect and value our people’s views, insights and recommendations. We build trust by providing reliable service to our customers and by working together as a team with full integrity.
Creativity & Innovation
We create opportunity through programmes, specific recruitment selection and training development in order to promote creativity, innovation and excellence as a Group. As the world becomes more evolved, we believe in delivery, quality and customer satisfaction. We never cease challenging ourselves to do better.
Our goal has always been to promote a business of sustainable development and growth that is profitable for our Group of Companies, generates value for our customers and fosters long-term confidence and respect. We promote high standards of sound business principles and practices, delivering superior customer service. We remain conscious of our duty to serve and strengthen the interest of our people, our country and our Caribbean region.
1831 - 1844
George Reid & Company
A Scot named Gregor Turnbull arrived in Trinidad and took up a position at the George Reid & Company in the local sugar industry. Turnbull was largely responsible for the development of the sugar industry which dominated the economy until the advent of oil.
After four years George returned to Scotland establishing himself as a merchant and started his ship owning foundation. He acquired various sugar plantations in Trinidad: Santa Margarita, St. Helena and Brechin Castle and established coastal shipping and services for passengers and cargo for his estates and others.
1845 – 1894
Turnbull Stewart & Co. & Turnbull Ross & Co.
Gregor Turnbull established two shipping and trading companies in 1845 : Turnbull Ross & Company in San Fernando, and Turnbull Stewart & Company in Port of Spain. Coastal steamers for Trinidad as well as a reliable link to Tobago were requested by the Colonial Government at the time.
In 1854 Gregor Turnbull Business activities were expanded to include hardware and construction by George Brown a Scottish architect/builder who joined the company in 1883 and whose many stately edifices adorn the city to this day. The fountain still seen in Woodford Square was gifted to Port-of-Spain by Mr. Turnbull in 1866.
1895 – 1919
Trinidad Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd.
The operations of the two companies, Turnbull Stewart & Turnbull Ross, were taken over by The Trinidad Shipping & Trading Company Ltd in 1895. The company was incorporated and its activities were directed by the several sugar plantations owned by it, and its shipping operations extended through the Caribbean islands to New York and Halifax. In 1903 they diversified into the manufacture of ice and into the cold storage business.
Up to that time Trinidad and Tobago was dependent on ice being shipped from the United States and Canada since 1845. Mr. George Christall continued Turnbull’s legacy but when he passed in 1907 the company continued until acquired by Furness Withy in 1920.
1920 – 1975
Furness Withy & Co. Ltd. & Trinidad Trading Co. Ltd.
Furness Withy & Company Ltd. of London purchased The Trinidad Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd. which held the Queens Park Hotel in its portfolio. In 1921 Furness Withy & Co. Ltd. maintained the shipping and marine interests and a new company Trinidad Trading Co. was established to handle all remaining activities.
In 1924 Caroni Sugar Estate (Trinidad) Ltd. was formed and Furness Withy & Co. Ltd. sold its interest. This new company amalgamated with other groups of Trinidad estates to form Caroni Ltd. in 1975 which at one time was owned by Tate & Lyle and then owned by the Government and which became defunct in 2003.
1976 – 1982
Furness Trinidad Limited
Mr. Ignatius S. Ferreira who joined Furness Withy in 1946 as an office boy was called to serve as Managing Director of
the Trinidad Trading Co. Ltd. in 1962 and served as a Director on many other boards. In January 1976, Furness Withy
was renamed to Furness Trinidad Limited and was locally incorporated, offering its first tranche of shares to the public.
When in 1980 Orient Overseas Container (Holdings) Ltd. acquired Furness Withy (London) and sold off all its international interests, Ignatius Ferreira acquired one third of the shares.
1983 – 1989
Chairman Emeritus Mr. Ignatius S. Ferreira
In 1983 Mr. Ignatius S. Ferreira took the realm as Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer and embarked on a diversification
programme. In 1985 Furness Shipping & Marketing Ltd. was formed and their distribution arm extended from their
alcohol lines to personal items. By 1987 Furness Trinidad Ltd. was 100 percent locally owned with the main shareholder
being Ignatius S. Ferreira.
Diversey, an industrial cleaning chemical manufacturing company was then purchased in 1986, and Furness Chemicals was instituted as the chemical distribution arm. Eventually Diversey was discontinued and Furness Chemicals began manufacturing their own Furness Chemical brands which included domestic cleaning chemicals.
Established in 1989 Furness Rentals began operations leasing vehicles to Furness companies only and high end cars to Ministries and Government officials. It eventually expanded to becoming the largest independent car leasing company for individuals and fleets.
1990 – 2001
Furness Trinidad Limited celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 1994, and its strategy of diversification was praised by the
late Honourable Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, for its contribution to the economy.
Anchorage General insurance Limited was renamed to Furness Anchorage General Insurance Limited effective April 16th, 1999 to reflect its ownership status as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Furness Trinidad Group of Companies.
2002 to present
Mr. William Anthony Ferreira
Ignatius S. Ferreira’s son William A. Ferreira served in many capacities within the group since 1976 when he joined the
company as an Accounts Clerk. By 2002 he was Chairman of all subsidiaries including Furness Anchorage General
Insurance Limited and became Deputy Chairman of the Holdings Board, Furness Trinidad Limited in 2003. In 2016 he
became Chairman of Furness Trinidad Limited and retained all other positions within the Group.
In 2019 further expansion of Furness’ portfolio occurred with the construction of City Park, a modernized multi-storey car park in the capital. Many other projects set to diversify even further the existing spectrum of Furness are in the developmental stages, while Furness’ growth and profitability of its existing subsidiaries continues to strengthen.
Mr. Ignatius S. Ferreira
It would be correct to say that Ignatius Seveirano Ferreira dedicated his life to the growth of the group of 16 companies of Furness. His numerous positions within the various departments and companies of Furness, Withy & Company prepared him to lead the group and for his role as Chairman of the company for over 30 years.
Though born in Belmont on September 24th, 1928, Ferreira grew up in Chaguanas. His parents, who originated from Madeira, operated a rum shop and grocery at the corner of Caroni Savannah Road and the Chaguanas Main Road. He attended the Chaguanas Government School and Presentation Primary until he became old enough to begin school in Port of Spain where he studied at St Thomas High School and Belmont Intermediate.
As a boy, Ferreira served as an acolyte, serving Fr. Max Murphy in the Chaguanas Roman Catholic Church, where his mother played the organ. Free days were spent playing at Woodford Lodge and attending the Jubilee Cinema. This ended, however, when he was 12. His family sold the shop and he moved to Belmont to live with his grandmother.
When he left Belmont Intermediate in 1946, he applied for a job at Furness, Withy & Co. and was accepted. He began as an office-boy as all new employees did in those days. He claims that once one joined a company then, they saw themselves spending the rest of their lives with that firm. Young Ferreira had no intention of that being his case but little did he know that that job was to shape his future.
At first he wanted to be an accountant and so studied accountancy after work. He then became an accounts clerk but decided that was not the field for him. He was transferred to the ice factory in Richmond Street to serve as a clerk where he was responsible for dispatching the ice vans in the morning. From there, he moved to the hardware and lumber department where he held the position of cashier and then gained promotion to assistant manager.
Shipping was the next area he was introduced to as he began again as a clerk but then got promoted to the position of claims manager. When the Federal Maple and the Federal Palm, the two gift ships from Canada, arrived in the country, Ferreira became claims manager for the entire Caribbean. From there, this industrious worker was transferred to the Trinidad Trading Company as a salesman in the hardware and engineering department. Ferreira was then made managing director of that company and in 1962 he became a director of the Furness, Withy local office.
His rapid movement up Furness, Withy & Co. was as a result he claims, of the fact “that the people who held senior posts were all quite old. I even remember one of my superiors finding it very hard to stand. You will always find that if you are in an organisation in which there are a large number of older people, you will rise to the top much quicker than if there were a large number of younger ones all competing for a limited number of posts”. This may be true in Ferreira’s case since he first attained a managerial position in his early 30’s. When the first shares of the company were placed on the local market, Ferreira acquired a small block. Later, when the entire company was being sold off by Orient Overseas Container (Holdings) Ltd. he acquired one third.
His family also bought into the company and Furness Trinidad Limited was approximately 90 percent owned by Ignatius S. Ferreira.
Upon recommendation from J.B. Fernandes, Ferreira was, in 1985, appointed Honorary Consul of Portugal.
Though he has been in business almost all his life, Ferreira found time to be involved in other activities including The St Johns Ambulance and it was at these activities in 1953, he met his bride – an attractive, young Venezuelan who took up board with the Pantin family that year. Ferreira, who was friendly with the Pantin brothers, met this young debutante at the football and hockey matches which she attended.
In 1956 they were married. Elia and Ignatius Ferreira have five children, four boys and one girl.
So, to whom, or to what does Ferreira attribute his life of numerous blessings? Well, it’s two things actually… “Hard work and dedication did it,” he says on one hand, but on the other, he knows that more importantly, “God has been good to me. Sometimes I think that I am His favourite.”
At Furness, our duty is to serve and strengthen the interests of our people, our country and our Caribbean region. Being a member of Furness means that you are part of a leading network of professionals dedicated to shaping the future. We are forever mindful that a successful business must be able to integrate business and employee values whilst upholding strong governance and ethical conduct.
Tell us why you want to join our team. We would love to hear from you.
1845 - 1879Gregor Turnbull
1880 - 1907George Christall
1908 - 1920Peter Macleelan
1921 - 1928Alexander Fraser
1929 - 1939John Pendrick
1940 - 1955Seymour Banning
1956 - 1961Alastair Elder
1962 - 1963George Wright
1964 - 1965William Boyd
1966 - 1969Alexander Henderson
1970 - 1974Sir Hugh Wooding
1975 - 1977James Reid Taylor
1978 - 1982Bernard Primus
1983 - 2015Ignatius S. Ferreira