Meyer Group of Companies is a success story starting with the development of a shipping and coal bunkering agency and developing into a widely diversified business group that oversees shipping, freight, travel, tours, IT service work, forensic accounting and property development.
From humble beginnings, it started with a vision from Captain Wm. E. Meyer, who in 1876, created Wm. E. Meyer & Co. Limited, a shipping and coal-bunkering agency based in the historic Town of St. George, Bermuda.
The company also owned and operated work boats, water barges, coal barges and tug boats, which allowed them to offer a comprehensive list of services to the all-important shipping industry serving Bermuda.
Almost a century later in 1951, the company commenced operation of a machine shop specialising in ship repairs and related services. This business segment was expanded and later leased out to a private operator.
When it comes to the history of Meyer Travel Agency, it all started in 1907 after chartering the Prince George. A 19-knot vessel, the Prince George was dubbed the “finest ship in Bermuda waters” at the time, sky rocketing this newly formed company to notoriety. The vessel ran between Bermuda and New York, carrying the mail and 100 passengers who paid $40 for a round trip ticket.
In 1946, the Meyer Group's agency operations expanded to Hamilton with the opening of its Reid Street office, offering port agent services to incoming vessels and travel agent services to the Bermuda public. Meyer became one of the first members appointed to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Pan American World Airways and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).
In 1980 in conjunction with Michael Freisenbruch, Meyer Agencies Ltd., helped develop Bermuda’s largest local insurance intermediary, the Freisenbruch-Meyer Group.
In 1972, the parent company amalgamated Meyer’s ship, freight and travel agency operations to form Meyer Agencies Ltd. As the agency operations became more specialized over the next decades, operations were separated as Meyer Shipping, a division of Meyer Agencies Ltd., Meyer Freight Ltd., Meyer Tours Ltd. and Meyer Travel Ltd..
In 1986, Meyer Agencies Ltd moved into the newly purchased Waverley property on 35 Church Street. The location offered convenience and a central point to service customers.
Today Meyer Agencies Ltd. operates from St. George’s, Hamilton and Dockyard with its offices servicing Bermuda’s regular and occasional callers. Meyer Freight Ltd. represents two of the three dedicated freight lines serving Bermuda: Bermuda International Shipping Ltd. out of Salem, New Jersey, and Somers Isles Shipping Ltd. out of Port Fernandina, Florida.
In 2002, the Meyer Group joined with its IT manager to form Meyer Technologies Ltd. Today, Meyer Technologies Ltd. or MyTec, as it is also known is the fastest growing company within the Meyer Group, led by our now vice-president of Information Systems, Gary Levon.
This same year, 2002, that Meyer Travel Ltd. and Franklin Travel Ltd. merged to form the separate company Meyer-Franklin Travel Ltd., with a team of 30 including leisure and corporate travel teams, shore excursions and accounting, and partnered with over 40 preferred airline, cruise, tour and hotel vendors across the globe. In 2013 Meyer-Franklin Travel Ltd. merged with Worldview Travel Ltd. The new travel agency, operated by a third party, continues to be located at the Meyer Group’s Hamilton location.
Throughout the mid-2000s the Meyer Group expanded its property division, Meyer Properties Ltd., through acqusition and capital renovations including the refurbishment of historic ‘Hunters Building’.
In 2010 the Meyer Group, in association with its VP of Finance and Administration formed a forensic accounting firm, Forensic First Ltd.; and in 2014 the Meyer Group helped form and took an equity stake in Island Waste Management Ltd., a waste disposal company.
As Bermuda evolves the Meyer Group continues to diversify, with expanding businesses and an eye for continued growth.