Changing corporate domicile: The case of the rhodesian selection trust companies

Mollan, Simon, Frank, Billy orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6789-078X and Tennent, Kevin (2020) Changing corporate domicile: The case of the rhodesian selection trust companies. Business History . ISSN 0007-6791

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This article explores the transfer of corporate domicile of the Rhodesian Selection Trust group of ‘Free-Standing Companies’ (FSCs) from the UK to Northern Rhodesia. To explore the ‘nationality of the company’ we question how political and economic factors affected strategic deci- sion-making. We contribute further understanding of the impact of international double taxation to the history of FSCs. The article illustrates how the‘nationality of the firm’became a contested zone of interaction as British imperial power waned, American capital investment became more dominant, and colonies began to assert themselves in their own ‘national’ interests. We conclude that international taxation was a deci- sive factor in the relocation of domicile, and was linked to changes in the organizational forms adopted by international business in this period. We use this to contribute to the historiographical debate about the decline of FSCs in the international economy, and the position of business in decolonization.

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