NORWAY-ASIA BUSINESS REVIEW
ISSUE 3 2017
PHOTO: THOME GROUP
We sat down with President and CCO of Thome Group of Companies, Claes Eek Thorstensen, for a chat about how the Group keeps up with changes in the shipping industry.
Steady Through Stormy Waters he shipping industry has been faced with a number of challenges in T recent years. Cyber security, piracy, automation, decreasing oil prices and changes in the economic makeup of the world are just some of the SOFIE LISBY
issues that have shaped the industry over the past decade and continue to do so today. Navigating these issues is Claes Eek Thorstensen, President and CCO of the Thome Group of Companies. Established in Singapore in 1963 by Norwegian founder, Fridtjov Thome and Thome Ship Management later by Olav Eek Thorstensen, the company has grown to become one of the leading ship managers in the world, represented worldwide by 11 offices. Headquartered in Singapore where the company’s corporate management and most of the ship management and control functions
are based, Thome Group of Companies employs approximately 800 people ashore and around 12,000 officers and crew distributed on more than 300 vessels around the globe. “Thome is a very global company but we are trying to maintain aspects of our Norwegian heritage,” explains Mr Thorstensen. “Our core values, our history and what we stand for are very much Norwegian. We usually say we have the perfect mix of Scandinavian shipping tradition with Asian business
Notwithstanding the Norwegian heritage, Singapore is a natural location for the majority of the company’s operations, according to Mr Thorstensen. “There is a reason why Singapore was voted the most important Shipping Hub in 2017,” he says. “It is a natural place to headquarter a ship management operation. It is a blend of strategic location, transit hub, large port, business friendly government, focus on efficiency, availability of well qualified people and also a shipping centre where the relevant stakeholders are located. Thome stays competitive in Singapore by ensuring that the processes are updated and efficient and that required back office services are located in more cost-effective locations.” Training has always had a strategic focus within the group. The training matrix covers the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STWC), operation and added value courses. In addition to the 28,000 training days per year, Thome runs operation workshops and fast-track officer programs for promising high performing officers.
Published on Oct 31, 2017