A wintering partner (also "winterer") was an inland trader and shareholder, most notably in the NORTH WEST COMPANY
. The wintering partner system evolved in New France, where fur merchants divided their profits with associates conducting the trade. Elected only from among clerks trained as apprentice traders and motivated by profit and participation in corporate decision making, NWC wintering partners were proprietors of the departments they managed. Considered the key to the company's geographic and commercial expansion, this system of management was adopted by such rival firms as the XY COMPANY
, the PACIFIC FUR COMPANY
and HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY
See also FUR TRADE.