Paterson Simons was established in the 1850s. One of the founders, William Ker, developed a close personal relationship with the Temenggong of Johore and was entrusted with managing his finances in 1853. This relationship granted Ker and his partners, William Paterson and Henry Minchin Simons, special business privileges.
The company traded a diverse range of commodities, such as camphor, vanilla, cinnamon, fish products, tin, coffee, rubber, pearls, and gutta percha – which was in high demand for submarine cables and tin mining. Eventually, the partnership changed its name to Paterson, Simons & Company in 1859 after Ker retired.
The company developed extensive port interests in Singapore, Port Klang and Penang and in 1899 formed a joint partnership with the Tanjar Pangong Dock Company to run the port of Johor.
The company remained active in shipping, maritime, and property insurance and acted as agents for the East India Coal Company and various shipping lines. It was acquired by Wood Hall Trust in the 1960s.
In 1990, the company underwent a management buy-out, and today it is a UK-based limited company specializing in sales, rental, and servicing of heavy lifting equipment throughout West Africa.
The timeline below shows recent milestones in Paterson Simons history, over the last few years: