Aberdeen Trust Limited


Company Number: SC000642
Date of Incorporation: 17 December 1875
Contact Details: 9 Queen’s Terrace, Aberdeen, Grampian, AB1 1XL
Operating Details: Dissolved (succeeded by Aberdeen Asset Management Ltd)
Other names (if known): North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage Company (1874-1938) North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage and General Investment Trust Limited (1938-1948), The Aberdeen and Canadian Investment trust Limited (1948-1962) The Aberdeen Trust Limited (1962 onward)
Function of Company*: Investment Trust (6523)
Headquarters/Base of Operations Location: Aberdeen
Area of Operation: Invested widely, especially in North America (see below)

*Taken from Standard Industrial Classification 2003, as used by Companies House in 2010

Records


Held By: University of Aberdeen, Special Libraries and Archives GB 0231 MS 3211

Scope/type: Business records for Aberdeen Trust Ltd., 1962 - 1982, and its predecessors, Aberdeen Trust Co. Ltd., 1911 - 1962, Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Ltd., 1948 - 1962, North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage and General Investment Trust Ltd, 1938 - 1948, North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage Co. Ltd., 1876 - 1938, and East of Scotland Trust Ltd, 1913 - 1972. A full set of minutes and annual accounts exists for each company, with the exception of the North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage Co. Ltd., for which annual accounts begin only in 1882 (6 years after the company began trading). There is, additionally, a representative sample of cash books, journals and stock registers for each company.

Conditions governing access/use: Open, though some restrictions on copying

Related records: Some records held in National Archives of Scotland

Company History


The North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage Company was incorporated in 1875, with the sole purpose, as its name implied, of raising capital in Scotland to finance, by way of mortgage, the emigrant farming community in Canada. The concept was a popular one at the time, and a number of other companies, notably in Dundee, had recently undertaken similar operations extending as far as Texas and other emerging agricultural states in the USA. By the late nineteenth century the company's annual reports describe extensive emigration to Canada and ever-increasing demand for mortgages. The building of the railways to the west opened up vast tracts of farming lands, and from fairly modest beginnings, it was able to extend its business to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the other prairie provinces. As its scope and size increased, the administrative headquarters were transferred from Toronto to Winnipeg.

By the First World War the Company was in a prosperous condition. This continued until the Great Depression of the 1930s, when it was thrust deeply into debt. By 1933 it had suffered such severe financial losses that it was unable to meet the demands of its creditors. A scheme of arrangement was drawn up at this time, placing a substantial financial burden upon the Company's creditors, but eventually freeing the Company from threat of liquidation. A moderate recovery by 1938 was followed by a new memorandum and articles of association, which enlarged its powers of investment, a step which many saw as preparation for its future conversion to an investment trust. A new name, the North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage and General Investment Trust Limited, emphasised this point.

In 1940, the Company became profitable once more, reaping the benefits of the very good Canadian harvest of 1939. A new scheme of reorganisation of capital was adopted in July 1942, and by the end of the Second World War the nature of the company had entirely changed from a lending company to an investment trust. In 1948 a Canadian subsidiary company was set up, called North of Scotland Canadian Investment Corporation Limited to which, in exchange for debentures and shares of common stock, the remaining Canadian assets were transferred. The name of the parent company was changed once more to reflect its new activities more accurately, becoming the Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Limited. In 1952 the North of Scotland Canadian Investment Corporation Limited was sold to the Berkley Property and Investment Company Limited. With this sale, all interests in the original business of the Company were relinquished, and its expansion thereafter took place under the auspices of an orthodox Scottish Investment Trust.

In 1962, the Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Limited amalgamated with the Aberdeen-based Aberdeen Trust Company Limited, forming a new company, called Aberdeen Trust Limited. In 1972, a further merger took place with the East of Scotland Trust Limited of Edinburgh. Both the Aberdeen Trust Company and the East of Scotland Trust Limited had had close ties with the Company for many years, being under the same management, having similar portfolios and with some duplication between the various boards of directors.

Aberdeen Trust Company was incorporated on 17 July 1911. Its early fortunes were mixed, suffering severe losses during the First World War, which were recovered during the Twenties, only to be hit again by the great depression of the Thirties. A considerable recovery was achieved by 1939, and though expansion was halted during the war years of the early 1940s, the Company was able to consolidate its position and had achieved considerable prosperity by 1945. The 1950s saw a period of rapid growth and expansion for the Company, and in 1961 it entered into negotiations for amalgamation with the Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Limited.

The East of Scotland Trust Limited was registered in Edinburgh on 8 May 1913. Its history closely parallels that of the Aberdeen Trust Limited, rising and falling between the War years and the great depression of the Thirties, before reaching prosperity in the 1950s and 60s.

By 1993 the Trust was encountering difficulties as a recession hit in the middle of a period of company expansion. This original company was dissolved, and the parent company continued as Aberdeen Asset Management (whose holding company has since become the ‘new’ Aberdeen Trust Limited). http://www.aberdeen-asset.com/
This information was extracted from a short history of the Trust, contained in the Aberdeen Trust Limited Annual Report and Accounts for 1976 (MS 3211/79). Further details, particularly regarding financial affairs, can be found there.

Thanks and acknowledgement to the University of Aberdeen Special Libraries and Archives for the use of this information.