The Cox Family businesses are divided into two divisions under parent companies; the real estate development owned by Waterloo Properties Limited and the retail division owned by Pearman Watlington & Co. Limited.Click to read more about the Cox Family Business
Whilst the ownership of Waterloo Properties Limited and Pearman Watlington & Co. Limited date back to the mid-1880s and includes many of Bermuda’s old families. Today both companies are owned solely by the heirs of the late Sir John Cox
Sir John had these companies for a large part of the 20th century. In addition he held the position of Speaker of Bermuda’s House of Assembly from 1948 to 1968.
Prior to creation of Bermuda’s modern day form of semi-autonomous government which came into being with Bermuda’s constitution in 1968, the Speaker of the House of Assembly won effectively the leader of the Bermuda Colonial Government. In addition Sir John Cox held other significant positions of authority in Bermuda including chairmanship of the Bank of Bermuda.
Sir John was ably assisted by his two sons, Henry Carlyle Darrell “Harry” Cox and Michael Cox.
In 1995 Sir John’s grandson William John “Will” Cox took over the leadership of the family companies and prepared them for and lead them successfully into the 21st century.
This company originally incorporated in 1926 as “Hygeia Ice Company” owned the peninsula in Pitts Bay. The company was incorporated to produce ice for both the local populous and ships coming to Bermuda. In addition it provisioned the ships coming and going to Bermuda with everything from coal to vegetables to meat.
Later it became the house to its sister company Pearman Watlington & Co. Limited.
In the mid-90s Will Cox recognized that the retail business in Bermuda had challenges and there was a need for and opportunity in the provision of high end commercial office facilities for the burgeoning insurance business in Bermuda.
The retail businesses were in the main wound down and sold, and on the 1st of June 1996 excavation of the site for its new role commenced. Construction of the first phase of the current development began in January 1997 and was completed in the summer of 1999 when the pillar tenant, Centre Re Solutions Ltd (now Zurich Re Ltd) moved in.
Given the success of the first phase, it was determined in 2004 to build a second phase, Phase II which was built to accommodate Axis Re ltd and Montpelier Ltd was completed in 2006.
Finally to complete the Waterfront at Pitts bay development, the marina was completed in 2004 and the Point Building in 2006. And the very high end and sought after Waterfront Residences.
Today the entire complex is considered Bermuda’s premier commercial office development and given the fact that almost all of the tenants are world class insurance companies, it is considered the “Lloyds of the West”.
Pearman Watlington & Co. Limited, better known in Bermuda and amongst Bermudians as “PWs”, traces its roots back to Masters + Cox, a company incorporated in Alexandria, Virginia in May 1837.
The current PWs started as a partnership on the 1st of November 1886 and known as Pearman Watlington & Co. The partnership was to enter into and master a number of businesses in Bermuda over the next hundred years.
Initially the partnership owned and operated a ferry business around Hamilton Harbour and to and from the Royal Naval Dockyard Ireland Island, Somerset. The fleet of ferries was sold to the Bermuda Government in 1948 abruptly after the introduction of the Motor Car.
By the mid-1990’s PWs became a leader in both the importation and sale of the motor car and home appliances.
Holding onto the vestige of Bermuda’s historical horse drawn and agricultural economy, PWs continued to own and operate the “Feed Store” on Front Street into the late 1980s. All the while the company continued to own and operate a marine fuel and supply centre at the property of its sister company at The Waterfront on Pitts Bay.
The modern day “PWs” known as Pearman Watlington & Co Limited was incorporated on the 15th of February 1977, with the majority of the shares being owned by Sir John Cox and his sons H. C. D. “Harry” Cox and Michael Cox. Today the entire shareholding is beneficiary held by the descendants of Sir John Cox.
In the mid-70’s the company’s business was made up of the grocery business (Miles Market), the hardware and appliances business (PWs Hardware), the motor car business, the Marine fuel and supply business (PW Marine) and the animal feed and supply store (PWs Feed Store).
With the decision of Waterloo Properties getting into the commercial office development business, it was decided by the 90’s it was Pearman Watlington & Co Limited was determined to remain only with the marine fuel and supply business (PW Marine) and the high end grocery business (Miles Market). The other businesses were either sold or wound down.
In 2008 it was determined that the company would enter into the high end restaurant business and incorporated Miles Restaurants Limited which was also build on The Waterfront property; now opened and operates the very successful and popular “Harry’s Restaurant”. Named after Sir John’s larger than life son Henry C. D. Cox, better known as “Harry”. Harry was one of Bermuda’s leading figures; a world famous treasure diver and a well-known raconteur.
William John ‘Will’ Cox has been with The Waterfront Group since design which commenced in 1995. He was educated at Saltus Grammar School, Westminster School and graduated from Lynchburg College in 1985. Prior to the commencement of The Waterfront at Pitts Bay, he was the Chief Executive Officer from 1991 of Pearman Watlington and Miles Market Ltd and became President and Chairman in 1997. Having guided the operating companies through restructure and difficult financial turmoil, he and the board determined that the development of a high class Office, Retail and Residential development was the way forward for the businesses. Construction commenced in 1997 and phase one was completed in 1999. This phase included commercial development and new premises for Miles Market. From there, Will and his team developed headquarters for leased tenants, high end residential premises, The Waterfront Marina and fuel facility and capped it with the opening of a high end restaurant – Harry’s in honor of his late father. Today the project is a landmark on Hamilton Harbor and remains a leader in high quality Commercial and Residential real estate.
Will is married to Linda and has two sons, Jonathan and Stephen. He was the past Chairman of Saltus Grammar School, remains active in the underwater world and is a member of WPO Bermuda. His passions center around food and the ocean which are a part of the basis for The Company to be a life style leader.
Richard (Rick) Cox joined Pearman Watlington as the manager of The Home Center division. As the company evolved he played an instrumental part in the development of The Waterfront and today is the Vice President of The Company. He was Educated at Saltus Grammar School, TCS in Canada and Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York where he was a star on the Soccer field.
Rick enjoys being active and is an avid fisherman and golfer. He has one Daughter, Eleanor and they live in Devonshire.
Wayne Balcombe CPA, CA is the Chief Financial Officer for the Pearman Watlington and Waterloo Properties Group of Companies. Wayne joined the organization in 1995 just prior to the transition and restructuring of the businesses. His professional background included ten years with Price Waterhouse working with a diverse range of large and small clients in various aspects of accounting, audit, tax and business planning in Canada and Bermuda. He is a member of the Ontario and Bermuda Institutes of Chartered Professional Accountants. Wayne was educated at Brock University and Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario. During his 20 years with the Group Wayne has been an integral part of the redirection and financial management of all business segments including retail and property management. He truly enjoys the diversity and nature of the businesses as well as the dynamics of working as part of a family owned entity.