One of the crown jewels of Danish business history, The East Asiatic Company (EAC) – the forerunner of The Santa Fe Group – has handed over its 119 years of history to the Danish National Archive where it will be preserved for posterity and made available for business research, among other things.
At a meeting in March 2016, the Board of Directors of Santa Fe Group A/S decided that central business historic material from 119 years of history under the EAC name should be handed over to the Danish National Archive. The handover has been completed.
Chairman of the Board Henning Kruse Petersen of Santa Fe Group says: “The archives report of almost 120 years of entrepreneurship, ambition, success and failure in a company that led the way in opening the world – and establishing commercial and cultural relations between Denmark and Asia. We are pleased to know that this material is now secured for posterity.”
National Archivist Asbjørn Hellum comments: “The handover of this original source material supports the National Archive’s effort to preserve documentation from large Danish companies, international relations etc., thereby providing citizens and researchers with a better chance of understanding the development of Danish society.”
The EAC is among the crown jewels in Danish business history. Back in the 1970ies, the EAC was Scandinavia’s largest company in terms of revenue and number of employees. In its prime, the EAC was a global conglomerate spanning everything from shipping, ship-building, slaughterhouses, plantations, pharmaceutical industry, industrial companies and agencies for countless global corporations. Since then, subsidiaries were divested piece by piece, and the company has been run under the name Santa Fe Group A/S since 2015.
The company was established in 1897 by Councillor of State H.N. Andersen, who was among the most brilliant business men of the time with a global perspective that reached far beyond Denmark from the very beginning. It has since been highlighted that H.N. Andersen’s example has served as inspiration for great Danish business men such as A.P. Møller.
It is thus a very central and fascinating chapter in Danish business history that has been archived to be preserved for posterity and made available for business historical research. The handover includes, among other things, 37 minute books from the Board of Directors covering the entire period from the first Board meeting on 20 March 1897 to May 2013.
The archive miraculously survived the bomb attack on the EAC’s former domicile on Holbergsgade 2 in Copenhagen, which was utterly destroyed by Nazi sabotage in 1944.
For further information:
Senior Researcher Henrik Knudsen, the Danish National Archive – Collection of personal archives
Press officer Julie Avery, the Danish National Archive
Tel. +45 41 71 72 41