The company was founded in 1868 by John R. Williams  to trade with his father who owned a marine brokerage organization in London. The company´s major area of business was as a shipping agency although other lines of business were also developed.  After succesive changes of shareholders, in 1934 a new company was established owned now by George MacLean, Leonard J. Cooper and Edward F. Stanham all Uruguayans of British descent who were already part of the firm. In the following years Leonard J. Cooper became the majority owner, followed by his son Ronald Cooper, and today by Robin and Andrew Cooper, who continue directing the company into the future.

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