From the coastal town of Aabenraa in what is now Denmark, two young men, Heinrich Jessen and Jacob Jebsen, whose fathers and grandfathers were sea captains, set out on a trading expedition to the Far East in the late 1800’s. The two men who were also cousins proved very adept at bridging the cultures and establishing profitable trading partnerships, and in 1895, they went into business together. In 1909, they created Jebsen & Jessen Hamburg in Germany to facilitate trade between China and their European clients.
Today, there are two separate branches of the family enterprise, one that operates out of Singapore and the other out of Hong Kong. Together, the business has commercial interests in manufacturing, engineering, mining and distribution activities. Serving customers globally the group employs more than 7,000 people.
Tharawat Magazine had the opportunity to speak with 3rd generation member Heinrich Jessen, CEO of the Jebsen & Jessen Southeast Asia Group to discuss his family’s adventurous history and the key to longevity.