When we study the history of British insurance offices, especially in terms of comparative business history, it is paramount to consider 'composite' offices which handle various types of insurance -life, fire, marine and accident. There are no such insurance offices in the US, Germany, Japan and most other countries, but in Britain all major insurance offices, except a few, are large-scale composite offices. Composite offices, in the strict sense of the word, did not emerge until the turn of the century. During the years of 1904-14, some major insurance offices expanded their business by handling 'new-type' of insurance-personal accident, employers, liability, and so on-in addition to tranditional insurance. In other words, it was at this time that the British insurance offices undertook diversification of business. The purpose of this article is twofold. One is showing the process of the emergence of composite offices, and two, more importantly, presenting a picture of the historical character of British insurance business against the background of the maturity of the British economy. References used were the Board of Trade Returns and some insurance journals and yearbooks. The following are the conclusions of this article. Firstly, large-scale composite offices did not derive from life offices (e.g. Equitable, Standard Life), but from fire-life offices (e.g. Royal, North British and Mercantile) or fire-life-marine offices (e.g. Royal Exchange, Liverpool and London and Globe). Secondly, diversification, strictly speaking diversification to 'related business' according to R.P. Rumelt, was the result of amalgamations rather than internal growth. Furthermore, it was around this time that the post, of 'General Manager' emerged, bringing an 'Age of General Managers' to the British insurance business. Thirdly, traditional London based offices (e.g. London Assurance) and specialist life offices (e.g. Scottish Widows' Fund) continued to lose their shares in the insurance market. To the contrary, some active non-London insurance offices, which had a comparatively short history, gradually became of increasing importance.
The lists presented here are the data showing the financial records of the 200 largest enterprises in the development of Japanese business. These lists rank large industrial enterprises in the order of the size of the firm and also provide information on the amount of assets, paid-up capital and revenue of each of the enterprises. As the main purpose of this survey is a comparative study among industrialized countries, the lists are devised to the extent possible to be adaptable to international standards. (1) The enterprises listed are the 200 largest industrial enterprises, in accordance with the list of the United States and United Kingdom. (2) The authors researched the year 1918, 1930 and 1954. Although the data for the U.S. and the U.K. includes a list for 1949, marking the beginning of the post World War II period, the authors analyzing Japanese enterprises listed the 200 industrial firms of 1954 instead of 1949, because in 1949 Japanese large enterprises had not yet recovered from the war damage. (3) The standard for ranking enterprises in the lists is the sum of assets in real terms, mainly because most of the Japanese companies before World War II had not published their sales figures. (4) The definition and classification of “industry” is based on the SIC (Standard Classification of Industry) in the U.S.