B&R was founded officially on the 19th of June 1985 by Sedo Jan Eelkman Rooda, Vincent Molenaar, André Janson and Gab Zwart. The goal of B&R was the creation of a succesful investment fund under the still valid motto: ”Making profit is not dirty” and bringing likeminded students together.
Not everyone participated in investment groups as they do today. One of the main pillars of the society was the investment fund in which every member could participate by buying a ”stock”. The investments were made by so called fund groups, groups that focused on one particular sector such as oil and chemicals, which contributed to the bigger fund. As its peak in early 1987 the fund contained 235.989,50 guilders, about 100.000 euro’s without taking inflation into account. Transactions were made by the B&R Administration Foundation to split the responsibility of transactions and management of the securities. A participant had to participate in the fund for at least 200 guilders (par value 10 guilders). Withdrawal was possible twice a year. However not only B&R member’s participated, also large financial sponsors were involved.
Rotterdam was not the only place where B&R was active. B&R had a national organization B&R Nederland and the largest sub organization was B&R Rotterdam, followed by B&R Groningen, Utrecht and Leiden. The society provided information to their participants by distributing a newsletter in the form of a magazine known as ”B&R Magazine” until ’95 and after that was called ”The Spread”.
B&R merged in 1996 with BeurS, a smaller Rotterdam based society founded in 1983, in what is now known as B&R Beurs. There used to be quite some friction/competition between the two societies, it took some time for them to completely merge. Beurs was known for the yearly event called the ”Beursdag”, which was held in the 90’s. It was very similar to, but much bigger than, the yearly symposium with important speakers from the financial world.
Everything went smoothly, but shortly after the merger in 1999, legislation surrounding unsupervised investment funds changed after scandals and fraud at other organizations, limiting the maximum amount of members and money invested. This almost led to termination of B&R Beurs.
Under governmental pressure the model of B&R Beurs was revised and the members started to invest through investment groups. Some of the early investment groups are still active today, among Borsa Valori, Merx and CFQ. Other student investment societies in the Netherlands vaporized and B&R Beurs became the only student investment society. In 2008 the legendary ”Beursdag” was revitalized by organizing the now yearly Symposium.
Rapid growth of the society started again in 2011. The number of members increased ever since with more than 100 new members per year, with a new record in 2020-2021 academic year of 570 members. The organization became more professional by the day. Also investment societies became more popular amongst students again, resulting in the establishment of B&R Eindhoven in 2016. As of the 2017-2018 academic year, B&R Beurs surpassed the 1000 member mark and currently over 1500!
Symposia also became bigger and better during the years. In 2013 the symposium was no longer a single event, but became part of the Investment Week, a whole week with several investment related activities at both companies and campus.