Amongst the nobility of the Piedmonte region in Italy appears the Catoni family , Augustino seeking refuge from opposing powers passed over to Corsica for a period before settling in Cyprus . Identifying opportunity in Ottoman Turkey he moved to Alexandretta where he met and married Lilian Belfante , daughter of a wealthy merchant and military advisor recognized and favoured for his services to the Ottoman court.

Catoni and son prospered in shipping and trading , Joseph Catoni & Co succeeding Belfante & Catoni was first registered in 1846 . Today Catoni Maritime the parent company operates in Turkey and the countries around the black sea with all seven companies controlled by the Beard family and owners of Belfante & Catoni Investment Services UK Ltd.

The Beard and Peacock's both British Levantine families by definition meanwhile consolidated their businesses in Licorice , Cotton and Tobacco trading in Smyrna and Alexandretta now Izmir and Iskenderun extending their business to include greater Syria . The ties of marriage between late Augustin Joseph Catoni's great grandson Augustino and Norah Yoland Beard granddaughter of Captain Hugh Beard consolidated the shipping and trading businesses which continue today.

Following Perestroika , the free market economy agenda has for the majority now become a reality , this phenomenon has accelerated and allowed diversification in the businesses and re-identified the group operating area . Shipping is extended to Logistics , Energy and Projects and Trading includes Procurement , Humanitarian aid and Contracting.

Catoni is documented as one of the five oldest active businesses in Turkey.