Groupe Walbaum-IAR


Edmond GodardIn 1896, Edmond Godard creates a reinsurance broking firm, Edmond Godard et Cie, located at no. 17, rue de la Banque in Paris.  Godard - who had a passion for trading with foreign countries - has the idea of doing business with Russia but realises that it would be necessary to have the support of German intermediaries. He contacts the Mutzenbecher family who, after London, St Petersburg and New York, were eager to establish themselves in Paris.

In 1908, Gaston Walbaum, the son of  a champagne merchant, is sent to the firm in Hamburg. In Munich, London and Buenos-Aires he learns the trade of  reinsurance broking.

In 1914, he returns to France and, wounded twice, he is awarded the military cross and the legion of honour and is promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

Shortly before the Armistice, due to the links with the Mutzenbechers, seals were, unjustly, placed on the doors of the offices at the rue de la Banque. Edmond Godard, who had ceased all relations with Germany and defended the French economy as advisor for foreign trade to the government, suffers a nervous breakdown and is to be interned at the Sainte Anne hospital in Paris.

In 1919, Gaston Walbaum…

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