The Roe Group of Companies - Belize

History of the development of The Roe Group:

1960's - 1980's | 1980's - 2000 | 2000 - Present

1963 | 1964 | 1969 | 1970 | 1975 | 1977

As Belize City was still recovering from the devastating destruction brought by Hurricane Hattie on October 31, 1961, the genesis of one of Belize's finest corporate citizens was taking place.

The birth of the Roe Group of Companies was marked by the purchase of a defunct insurance agency, Horncastle (British Honduras) Ltd. from the H. Melhado Company by Mr. Gordon A. Roe in late 1963. The new agency soon opened in a one-room office in the Roe family's newly acquired home at 6 Fort Street in Belize City.

Roe Group family home and first office
Gordon A. Roe, 19756 Fort Street Roe Home and Office, 1964

Success was not immediate but with the help of certain underwriters at Lloyds of London and hard work, the agency soon built a reputation for integrity and service and took its place as one of the most important and respected insurance agencies in British Honduras.

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He loved roses, and for the Company Logo he selected the White Rose of York with five leaves; each leaf to represent one of his sons: Brian, Malcolm, Adrian, Gordon 'Christopher' and Trevor.
The name of the firm was changed to G.A. Roe & Sons Ltd., clearly reflecting Gordon Roe's leadership and his family's aspirations for the company.

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Military review in front of courthouse
Belize city, 1960's.
G.A. Roe & Sons Ltd. acquired a 33.3% shareholding in Investment Finance Ltd., a company set up to purchase the company established in the early 1930's by the Maestre family to manufacture Cigarettes and Soap. In 1961 the manufacturing operation was moved to Cleghorn Street and by that time had become a manufacturing conglomerate making cigarettes, soap, aluminum windows, doors and wooden furniture. In 1962, the Maestre family sold the company to American investors who added to the company with their purchase of the San Miguel farm in the Cayo District of Belize. The farm traded under the name of Caribbean Tobacco Company. An unfortunate combination of absentee ownership, poor management and excessive union activity contributed to a downward business spiral. At the time of the purchase of the Roe 33.3% interest in the firm, the company was struggling to stay alive.

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One of the original fleet of Maya Airways planes flying over Belize City.
Recognizing a need to more clearly define its purpose, G.A. Roe & Sons Ltd. established an insurance company called Fire and General Assurance Company of Belize Ltd. Fire and General retained a part of the portfolio of business generated by the G.A. Roe & Sons Ltd. agency operation.

The Roe family was invited and agreed to purchase an interest in Maya Airways which was established as a successor to British Honduras Airways in 1962.

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As the Roe insurance businesses continued to grow, it was, once again, decided that it was necessary to clearly state the direction of their insurance operations. Thus, G.A. Roe & Sons (Insurance Services) Ltd. was established to carry on the operations of the agency business. By this time the Agency had developed the expertise of an underwriting agency, producing and underwriting business for the Fire & General Assurance Company and for certain Lloyds of London Underwriters.

For many years, Gordon and Marie Roe ran pharmaceutical agney for "Boots" and other products in parallel with the insurance business. This year saw the establishment of a free-standing company named Farm-i-ceuticals Ltd., to wholesale both human and animal health products.

G.A. Roe & Sons Ltdl had now, in reality, become a holding company for the family's interest.

This year also saw the Roe family purchase controlling interest of the, now, nearly bankrupt Investment Finance Ltd. A Roe Group management team was installed with instructions to "turn the business around!"

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1960's - 1980's | 1980's - 2000 | 2000 - Present

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