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THE END OF FAMILY MANAGEMENT Hans Peter Johan Lyngbye had offi cially taken over the management of the company in 1886 upon Em. Z. Svitzer’s death, after having effectively managed the company for the past 14 years. Lyngbye was the son of the fi rst marriage of Em. Z. Svitzer’s second wife and had later married Em. Z. Svitzer’s daughter from his fi rst marriage. In this way the company essentially remained a family managed business. In 1898 Tietgen retired as Chairman of the board, which brought about some fundamental changes. The board started focusing on clear segregation of businesses, in effect challenging the Svitzer-Lyngbye family’s involvement in both timber trade and salvage. Another bone of contention between Lyngbye and the board had been the cooperation agreements with local communities. The board had ignored Lyngbye’s advice by gradually reducing the share of the local parties in the salvage award – for example in Kalundborg, where the share was reduced from 50% in the late 1870s to 33% by 1884. Lyngbye insisted that further reductions risked jeopardizing the good relations which were a precondition for obtaining salvage jobs and a matter to be dealt with delicately. Lyngbye was relieved of his managing responsibilities the same year and rejected an offer of a board position. In his parting speech Lyngbye pointed out that the family back in 1872 had been paid merely the value of the equipment and not for giving up management of the company itself. A PERIOD OF CHANGE AND ADAPTATION The period from 1850 to 1914 was a time of major change. New technology brought signifi cant change and competition intensifi ed. SVITZER adapted by forging a strong network of cooperation with local fi shermen and salvage guilds and expanding operations – fi rstly within Denmark, then further into Scandinavia and then as far away as the Mediterranean and China. Doing so required capital injection. SVITZER became a limited company and ultimately the old family fi rm was run by businessmen outside the Svitzer family. Combining its fi nancial and technical muscle with strong networks assisted SVITZER in its expansion and led SVITZER into the 20th century as a salvage company without equal in Scandinavia. SVITZER’s strategy had created a solid foundation from which it was ready to meet the looming challenges of economic crisis and political uncertainty. Display of a Walkers ‘Cherub III’ Patent log. A rope was attached to the back of it and a vaned rotor (impeller) to the other end, which was then dropped over the side of the ship and as the rotor turned it measured the distance travelled. By timing this, the speed of the ship was determined. Before the introduction of such logs a piece of wood was dropped over the bow of the ship and by measuring the time it took the log to travel the length of the ship, speed was determined, hence the use of the word ‘log’. 34 S V I T Z E R – S A F E T Y A N D S U P P O R T AT S E A


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