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Old 27-02-21, 12:32 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Mr. R. S. Wijesekara was the first Sri Lankan chairman of Forbes & Walker Ltd.

Forbes & Walker was set up in 1881 as a partnership between James Forbes and Chapmen Walker. Although there is no actual record of the date on which it was established the very first cash book, still in the possession of the Finance Director, indicates the brokerages were earned from 1st August 1881. In Sir Thomas Villiers' book "Mercantile Lore" the date of establishment of Forbes & Walker has been put down as 1st August 1881.

Although some deductions from contract numbering could indicate a earlier commencement it is best left as 1st August 1881.

In 1946, the company merged, then known as an amalgamation, with R. Gordon & Co. to form Forbes & Walker (incorporating R. Gordon & Co.). This was the very first merger amongst brokers in Sri Lanka. R. Gordon & Co. was established in 1912 as the successor to T. J. Anderson, Exchange, Freight & Produce Broker started in 1895.

The next big change of historical importance took place on 1st April 1948, when the firm which had been incorporated as a private limited liability company on 13th January 1948, began trading as Forbes & Walker Limited. The need to convert to a limited liability company arose largely to form a business association with The London brokers. The London brokers comprising of Wilson, Smithett & Co, Sanderson & Co, Gow, Wilson & Stanton Ltd, Charles Hope & Son, Lloyd, Mathesom & Carritt, T. A. Kerr & Son, Ewart Maccaughey & Co Ltd were all made ordinary shareholders of the company while the existing directors were made management shareholders of the company.

One of the biggest changes in the history of Forbes & Walker took place in 1973, with the Nationalization of the British owned companies. The ownership & management of Forbes & Walker was handed over to the senior Sri Lankan members of the staff. Mr. R. S. Wijesekara was the first Sri Lankan chairman of Forbes & Walker Ltd. The localization of the management coincided with the taking over of the plantations and creation of the JEDB & SLSPC for the management of the plantations.

In the early to late 1990's the company went through a turbulent time and the ownership of the company changed hands 5 times in that short passage of time. At the turn of this century Forbes & Walker changed hands for the last time. This time it was acquired by the MJF group as the majority shareholder with the senior staff also owning a significant percentage of its shares.


Mr. R. S. Wijesekara was the first Sri Lankan chairman of Forbes & Walker Ltd. He was the father of Sunil Wijesekera who was with us at college.
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Last edited by sriyanj; 27-02-21 at 01:15 PM.
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