After its foundation by Carlos Stelling in 1898, Stelling & Co. grew to become a large conglomerate of companies that was active in a range of industries in Venezuela including local transport, cement, vegetable oil, banks and electricity.

The Stelling name comes from a family of German descent that arrived in the city of Valencia, Venezuela from Hamburg in the late 19th century. Family ancestors include several independence heroes and founders of the Independent Venezuela in the early 1800s such as Luisa Caceres de Arismendi, her husband General Juan Bautista Arismendi and Colonel William Smith, a hero from the Napoleonic wars who joined the British Legion in Venezuela.

During the first half of the 20th century, the family’s efforts centred around banking (which eventually expanded to New York, Miami, London, Paris, Ecuador and Madrid) and electricity generation and distribution. During the last quarter of the century, the Group also held investments in insurance, real estate, publishing, agriculture and gas distribution – amongst other things.

The arrival of the 21st century saw the involvement of

the fourth generation of the Stelling family

in the electricity sector in Venezuela, and real estate investments in Europe and the US.