Mort, who arrived in Australia in 1838, established the wool market in Sydney in 1841. Richard Goldsbrough was the pioneer of the sale of wool by auction at Melbourne in 1848. Despite much opposition from the London wool selling firms, by the early 1850s his business was firmly established.
Several important amalgamations then took place. The first, in 1853, was between Goldsbrough, Row and Kirk. Two years after Goldsbrough died in 1888 the company took over Mort & Co. Ltd. to become Goldsbrough, Mort & Co. Ltd. In 1922 the company Harrison, Jones & Delvin in Sydney was incorporated into the firm. Two years later Bagot, Shakes & Lewis Ltd. of Adelaide, which was formed and registered in 1888 and one of the oldest stock, station and woolbroking companies in South Australia, was also acquired. This effectively established a branch in Adelaide of Goldsbrough Mort and Co. Ltd. In 1962 the two companies of Elder Smith and Goldsbrough Mort & Co. Ltd. were incorporated to be called Elder Smith Goldsbrough Mort Ltd. A subsequent merger led to the company becoming Elders IXL. Goldsbrough House is a lasting monument to several Australian pioneering pastoral companies which have contributed significantly to the success and continuing expansion of Elders IXL as the company is now called. Goldsbrough Mort's Adelaide office was designed by the architect F. Kenneth Milne and was constructed in 1935, an additional storey being added in 1935-36.
The building is notable for its quality design, detailing and use of materials. The facade is in golden Bondi stone. Giant order Ionic columns dominate the ground floor and first floor and along with the balconettes and facade setback, strongly contrast with the austere upper floors. The facade is finely finished with sandstone detailing and ashlar cladding terminated by a cornice. The internal lift lobbies and stairwell have survived a major refurbishment to link the Myers department store through to North Terrace.