Weetman Pearson in Mexico and the Emergence of a British Oil Major, 1901-1919
Posted: 30 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 28, 2010
British overseas investment was a powerful force behind rapid global integration before World War I. Close to half of the total was in the form of foreign direct investment. Weetman Pearson was among the most successful of Britain’s overseas-based entrepreneurs of the period. By 1919, the Pearson group of companies had become one of Britain’s most valuable industrial enterprises, having diversified from international contracting into the Mexican oil industry. The Pearson group highlights the technical competence of British entrepreneurs in managing large, complex infrastructure projects, capable of navigating their way through various political systems, and adept at turning to whichever organizational form best suited their business interests. These characteristics were far removed from the now outdated stereotype of the incompetent late Victorian entrepreneur.
Keywords: Weetman Pearson, petroleum, Great Britain, Mexico, Mexican Eagle Oil Company
JEL Classification: L71, N54, N56, N84, N86
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