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The Growth and Dissolution of a Large-Scale Business EnterpriseThe Furness Interest, 1892-1919$
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Gordon Boyce

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497391

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497391.001.0001

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(p.249) Chapter 9 Finance
The Growth and Dissolution of a Large-Scale Business Enterprise

Gordon Boyce

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores Furness Withy’s financial structure and performance, data that offers insights into the policies of a firm operating solidly while the shipping industry and British business in general went through a period of substantial modification. It provides analysis of Christopher Furness and his successors strategies when attempting to attract capital. It devotes particular attention to how chief decision makers developed communication strategies and adapted information channels to secure funds. It also considers the financial aspects of running a family business, and the balance between relying on profit and outside money to support growth, and paying dividends and reinvesting profits. The conclusion states that Furness had a particular fundraising system that involved inter-related elements - a mixture of personal commitments, long-term supporters, risk/reward strategies, and the preservation of personal control. It was after his death that the shift from personal to corporate financial operations took place, though he attempted to instigate this shift during his lifetime.

Keywords:   Maritime Economics, Family Shipowning, Shipping Profit, Maritime Fundraising, Corporate Finance, Furness Withy

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