Founding Members’ Legacy

Having given his name in 1904 to a partnership set up with George White & Co, of London, Wilton Bartleet spearheaded the Company’s inauguration. The Bartleet Group was owned and managed exclusively by British partners, until 1958.

In November 1958, when the country was still called ‘Ceylon’, Mr Mallory Wijesinghe was appointed the first Ceylonese Director and was thus appointed the Chairman of the Company. He was the Chairman of Bartleet & Co. Ltd, a leading Produce broker and also of the Bartleet Group of Companies until 2001. 1963 saw the dawn of a new era for the Company owing to the appointment of a fully Ceylonese Board of Directors, for the first time in its History. As such the Company was thereafter led by Mr Mallory Wijesinghe, M J Wijesekera, F.B. de Silva, J Abeywickrema and K Rambukwella.

Born in 1918 Mr Mallory Wijesinghe was educated at Royal College Colombo and the University of Colombo and thereafter at Kings College London. He was an Engineer in the Public Works Department during World War II, prior to entering a career in the commercial world.

Following are the positions held by Mr Wijesinghe:

  • Honorary Consul-General of the Netherlands, to the Republic of Sri Lanka and Maldives
  • Chairman of the Colombo Securities & Exchange
  • First Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange
  • President of the Institute of Management of Sri Lanka
  • President of the Colombo YMCA
  • Chairman of the Salvation Army
  • Chairman of the National St. John Council for Sri Lanka and was made Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
  • Chairman, of Incorporated Trustees of the Church of England in Sri Lanka
  • Trustee of the Royal College Union Trust
  • Chairman of the Employers Federation of Ceylon
  • Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
  • Chairman of the Colombo Brokers Association
  • Founder President of the Federation of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka
  • Founder Chairman of the Ceylon Hotels Corporation
  • Member of the Civil Engineers London U.K.
  • Member of the Colombo University Grants Commission
  • Director, Colombo Stock Exchange
  • Served in Administrative Reforms Committee, appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka in 1987
  • Chairman of the Shippers Council of Sri Lanka from 1966 – 1973