Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017

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2017 • A supplement to Tanker Shipping & Trade


Spotlight on the


most influential people in tanker shipping & trade today

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A leading edge can be built on traditional deal-making

A Edwin Lampert, Editor


quick flick through the pages of Tanker Shipping & Trade or a scroll through tankershipping.com will confirm the centrality of technology in today’s business. In short, it is indispensable. All of us can identify with the frustration that ensues when the computer freezes or when our mobile phones cannot establish a connection. No one can deny the vital role that technology is playing in bringing transparency to operational aspects that in the past may have been shrouded in secrecy. But as this year’s list of tanker shipping and trade industry leaders attests, while technology is crucial to our trade, it does not totally displace the human element: the intuition, that instinctive feel that sets apart the pioneers, the trendsetters, and others at the forefront of the industry. Our leader this year is perhaps the epitome of this idea. Stories of his formidable and instinctive deal-making skills are legendary, and his track record in buying and consolidating companies underlines his prowess. This year’s list contains some familiar names, but in new positions. We also have a joint entry for the first time. As in previous years, we have sought to personally speak with as many of our leaders as possible. And we have sought to get behind the business talk to understand what drives the leaders, what is important to them, and where they see the sector heading. The entries are enhanced by our production department’s commitment to quality, and we happily acknowledge the excellent photographic skills of

Brand Manager – Sales: Paul Dowling t: +44 20 8370 7014 e: paul.dowling@rivieramm.com Supplement to Tanker Shipping & Trade Published March 2017

Sales Manager: Chris Tims t: +44 20 8370 7015 e: chris.tims@rivieramm.com

Editor: Edwin Lampert t: +44 20 8370 7017 e: edwin.lampert@rivieramm.com

Head of Sales – Asia: Kym Tan t: +65 6809 3098 e: kym.tan@rivieramm.com


Chris Preovolos on a number of the entries. On the business side, there are some recurrent themes. There is consensus that there is a need for restraint when it comes to newbuilding orders, and that the second half of the year could present challenges as new tonnage hits the water. There is especial sensitivity around yards that have historically not focused on tankers switching to the sector, given prevailing conditions in the bulk container segments, in particular. There is also talk around the opportunities available in Asia and offered by the ‘Belt and Road initiative,’ as well as thoughts on what Brexit may – or may not – mean for our industry. As well as highlighting achievements, there is also candid assessment of things that did not go so well – and in one case there is profound regret. The list is male dominated, but no one should doubt the major influence that women are having in our sector. Our top 10 bears testament to this. We also feature profiles on the professionals who won the Tanker Shipping & Trade Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leader Award. This year we also put the spotlight on individuals who have campaigned to raise the safety levels in our industry. The two professionals featured have shown real leadership in highlighting the limitations of the wall-wash test. Inevitably our list will provoke agreement and (sometimes vehement) disagreement in equal measure. As always, I welcome your feedback and thoughts. TST

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Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017

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1 John Fredriksen

CEO and chairman, Frontline


ig John tops our list this year by virtue of Frontline’s audacious bid to buy rival DHT Holdings. At the time of writing, Frontline has tabled a US$475 million takeover bid for DHT Holdings on the back of a recently acquired 16.4 per cent stake in the company. Should the two entities combine, they would form the largest public tanker company by fleet size, market cap, and trading liquidity. The move underlines that time and tide have not diminished this septuagenarian’s appetite for a bold deal. Some may have thought this appetite reached its zenith last year with the decision to order two VLCCs, with the option for a further two VLCCs, at China’s Jinhai Shipyard for the giveaway price of US$78 million apiece. In the event, the deal did not happen. But this does not detract from another busy year for the company and the man at the helm. Activities have included participation in the new Suezmax Chartering joint venture with other tanker owners Diamond S Shipping and Euronav, with Frontline


contributing 22 of its Suezmax tankers, including eight newbuildings as they are delivered. Earlier in 2016 Frontline took delivery of five long range (LR2) newbuildings, among a total of 14 LR2 tankers ordered by the owner, of which 11 were due to be delivered during 2016. A total of 17 newbuilds are scheduled for delivery in 2017. In addition to its traditional VLCC and Suezmax fleets, Frontline is focusing on increasing its presence in the LR2 segment, which is expected to be a growing sector of the tanker market. While the primary focus has traditionally been on the transportation of crude oil, the increasingly diversified fleet allows for entry into the refined products trades. The recent fleet changes have left Frontline operating a total fleet of 69 vessels, comprising 25 VLCCs, 22 Suezmaxes and 22 LR2 tankers. It also operates three chartered-in MR tankers. Back in 2014, we wrote: “in the 1990s [Mr Fredriksen] established himself as the king of the tanker trade.” Well, in our estimation the king is back at the top of the pile and unlikely to relinquish his crown anytime soon.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017

Patrick (Paddy) Rodgers

Chief executive officer, Euronav

The erudite, eloquent and always-engaging Paddy Rodgers is down one place to number two. It was a close call on a third consecutive year occupying the top spot. Certainly, his influence on the market remains strong and varied whether as CEO of Euronav, as chairman of the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation or on the conference circuit. A big part of his influence deries from his clear and direct approach. In a typically robust performance from the dais at London's Marine Money Conference, Mr Rodgers cited Korean shipyard overcapacity as the principle threat to tanker shipping and trade in 2017. “I don't feel optimistic about shipyards. Korea has financed uncompetitive shipyards to the detriment of good ones," he told


the auditorium. “Apparently 30 per cent of capacity will be cut [in the year ahead]… Hyundai, Daewoo and Samsung are understood to be cutting capacity, but why are the government being more aggressive and looking at SPP, Sudong and others? It’s time to cut bait or carry on fishing.” The pivotal question, he said, is whether yards will “kill themselves and the rest of us by lowering prices a further 10 per cent.” Looking at the market more widely, he forecast that 2017 will be both “an anxiety-driven year and a [tanker] connoisseur’s year” as there are “so many moving parts and so many questions.” If past performance is any guide, Euronav has the industry’s connoisseur at its helm.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo OPEC secretary general

All eyes are on new OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo in what promises to be an especially interesting year for the tanker markets, as production is at least partially curtailed. Speaking at the end of 2016 he said one of OPEC’s priorities in the year ahead will be exploring and initiating an energy dialogue with the US in the newly minted Trump era. His overarching priority is promoting stability: for investments, capacity expansion, supply levels, investors and producers, and, of course the consumer. The decision’s OPEC takes on his watch will be pivotal.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017

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Nikolas P. Tsakos Sergey Frank President, chief executive officer and executive director, Tsakos Energy Navigation

Nikolas Tsakos continues to show powerful leadership as head of Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) and chairman of Intertanko. “Our strategy [at TEN] is simple,” he told investors last year. “We have a long-term business with major end users.” The formula has been successful and has generated results that the company believes have “surpassed any of our peer group in duration and continuity.” Fully 60 per cent of TEN’s future vessel sailing days are on long-term charters with profit shares. This translates into US$1.5 billion of secured future revenues over the next two and a half years. “We have always maintained a solid balance sheet and low debt – and have often been criticised for being too conservative,” Dr Tsakos says. “But if you are in the business for 23 years I think you need to hold cash in reserve for opportunities,” he says, adding that TEN’s management controls 35 per cent of the business and has never sold its shares. “Rather, it has grown its shareholding continuously,” he explains. As the recently re-elected chairman of Intertanko Dr Tsakos continues to pursue an ambitious agenda and has been especially outspoken on maintaining the industry’s supply and demand balance. At Intertanko’s annual meeting in Singapore he summed it up rather neatly: “Much like smoking, over-ordering [vessels] gives you a quick fix… but it kills you in the end.”



President and chief executive officer, Sovcomflot Led by Sergey Frank, Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF) maintained an impressive performance last year in spite of a challenging political climate. An obvious highlight was the en bloc purchase (for an estimated US$215 million) of the Primorsk Shipping nine-vessel fleet of MR tankers and Aframaxes. Another milestone has been its Shturman Albanov series of Arctic shuttle tankers transporting one million tonnes of crude oil produced at the Novy Port oil and gas condensate field, from the Gulf of Ob (Kara Sea) to the port of Murmansk. As of the end of January, SCF tankers had completed 33 voyages with Novy Port grade oil since Shturman Albanov loaded its first cargo of oil on 12 September 2016. Expect the company to assert ever greater leadership in the Arctic as new projects come on stream and the Polar Code enters into force. This year could see the much-heralded privatisation of Sovcomflot, with Russia deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev talking about a March-April 2017 date and an ambition of raising close to US$500million from the sale of a 25 per cent minus one share stake. There continue to be mixed signals on whether this will actually happen. What is absolutely clear is that under Mr Frank’s watchful eye, Sovcomflot will continue to chart a market-leading course.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017


Robert Bugbee

President and director, Scorpio Group Robert Bugbee falls a couple of places in our ranking but much like the super-cycle he sees as round the corner, don’t bet against him surging ahead next year. There can be no disguising the fact that the company recorded a net loss of US$27.1 million in the third quarter of 2016, versus a net income of US$85.3 million in the same period the previous year. This reversal was attributed to low Time Charter Equivalent earnings. Nonetheless with a large fleet on the water, a newly concluded loan facility of up to US$172 million for financing up to 60 per cent of the market value of the eight MR product tankers it has on order at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea, and one of the most seasoned industry presidents in the hot seat, the company remains one to watch.


6 Cartsen Mortensen Group CEO, BW Maritime

Carsten Mortensen’s low profile does not mask his high achievements as group CEO of BW Maritime. He continues to place a high premium on surrounding himself with a “smart team”. The latest addition is Jakob Bergholdt as Group CFO. Perhaps ominously for competitors, Mr Mortensen said that Mr Bergholdt’s appointment was integral as BW enters into “its next phase of growth.” It will be a busy year ahead for Mr Mortensen, and maintaining that low profile might be a key challenge.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017


Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam

President & CEO, AET Tankers


t has been just over a year since Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam took over as president and CEO at AET, and he has certainly made his mark on a company he has served since starting out as a cadet with parent company MISC in the 1980s. Known throughout the industry as Capt Raja, he made significant enhancements to the company’s organisation, fleet and over arching strategy during his first year at the helm. Central to his focus on building sustainability in what has been a challenging market, one of Capt Raja’s first moves was to adopt and embed a new vision and mission into the company. AET’s re-energised vision is to consistently provide better energyrelated maritime solutions and services. Of this, he says “this means that together, as a team, we will never rest easy until we have delivered the absolute best we can for our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders.” Underpinning the new vision is a revitalised mission that is driving the company to heighten responsibly and add further value for its customers, shareholders, staff, the environment and the communities in which it operates. In terms of fleet development, Capt Raja successfully steered through a number of significant projects in 2016 that pushed AET’s owned/operated fleet through the 100 ship threshold. Eight newbuilding orders (four Aframax, two Suezmax and two LR2) were placed with Korean yards for delivery at the end of this year and in early 2018. These new ships will either take up new longterm contracts already arranged, or replace older tonnage. The company also took full ownership of the six Aframax vessels that had previously been operating as part of a 50/50 joint venture with Golden Energy under the Paramount brand. These ships are now 100 per cent owned and managed by AET. A focus on the environment has been enhanced by looking at LNG dual fuel for the new builds. Significantly, AET also took ownership of the 13 chemical carriers and one LPG ship that had been owned by parent MISC. These have now been successfully integrated with AET’s clean fleet to create a comprehensive Clean Products Division. “This has created a larger products fleet with the capability of offering enhanced capacity and flexibility for our customers who require clean vessels”, says Capt Raja. Internally, Capt Raja has re-organised his teams and fortified the organisation to ensure it is well buffered from market fluctuation. In a time of challenge for the tanker sector, he believes AET is very well positioned to continue its forward-march, while maintaining a strong balance sheet and simultaneously rejuvenating its fleet. Looking ahead, Capt Raja and his team are anticipating changes in oil flows and are actively growing and re-organising the AET fleet to meet demand in growth areas including intra-Asian Aframax business as well as lightering and reverse lightering in the


8 Americas. “Working alongside our customers and shareholders, we will continue to innovate and re-engineer our business and operations over the coming year, to ensure the services we deliver remain relevant to the evolving landscape and our customer and stakeholders’ changing needs. We have and will always pay critical attention to maintaining the highest level of service provision and remain firmly committed to setting new industry benchmarks for safe and responsible operations”, he says. On a personal level, Capt Raja is involved with a number of industry organisations, such as Intertanko, where he serves as Chairman of the Gas Tanker Committee (GTC), which aims to provide best practices and acceptable standards for the industry. An industry guideline on LPG building was recently produced by the GTC to enhance safety of operations on LPG vessels. Although commercial rates were softer in 2016 than in 2015, AET’s business and financial performance in 2016 is comparable to 2015. In 2016, AET fulfilled all its financial obligations and prepaid loans, and further lowered its gearing ratio. With its shareholder’s support, its debt-to-equity ratio has significantly improved, and AET now has headroom to fund its planned future growth.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017


Dr Grahaeme Henderson

Vice president, shipping and maritime, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd Dr Grahaeme Henderson is synonymous throughout industry for the prominence he gives to safe operations, whether as vice president of Shell’s shipping and maritime arm or as chairman of the Oil Companies International Maritime Forum. Its Maritime Partners in Safety programme has brought about a threefold reduction in serious actual and potential incidents since 2011. The plan for the year ahead is to work closely with OCIMF, Intertanko, and the UK Chamber of Shipping to boost safety throughout industry. The goal is not to impose the Shell approach, but to share lessons learned in order that others can customise their own programmes.

Susan Dio

Chief executive officer, BP Shipping Susan Dio has had a busy first year in post, including BP Shipping’s major fleet renewal programme. She has drawn plaudits for her management style which includes an emphasis on ‘deep listening’ and truly getting to know the colleagues that are working alongside. Drawing on her background as a chemical engineer, which placed a huge emphasis on questioning the way things are done, Ms Dio says her goal is to “continuously improve and deepen what is already a fantastic culture.”

Wang Yupu Chairman, Sinopec Corp As chairman of Sinopec Mr Wang presides over Unipec, the world’s largest charterer of dirty spot and VLCC tonnage. China’s Unipec notched up 524 reported fixtures in 2016; the same volume as the next five largest VLCC charterers combined, according to the latest ranking compiled by ship broker Poten & Partners and based on reported spot fixtures. Recent deals with Iraq to increase the volumes of crude oil it sells to Unipec mean this status is unlikely to be challenged anytime soon.

Shri Mukesh D. Ambani Chairman

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and managing director, Reliance Industries Ltd

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Reliance Industries, led by the charismatic Shri Mukesh D. Ambani, is established as a leading charterers of global tanker tonnage. Mr Ambani is also the architect behind Jamangar’s emergence as the refining capital of the world.


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Kitack Lim

Angeliki Frangou

IMO Secretary-General

Chairman and chief executive officer, Navios An article in German newspaper Die Zeit referred to Angeliki Fragou as the ‘female Onassis’ – and it is easy to see why. Ms Frangou is a consummate deal maker. Last year the Navios group she leads bought 10 vessels from HSH Nordbank at what Ms Frangou herself referred to as a happy combination of “historically low prices in a healthy economic environment.” In 2014 she famously raised US$200 million using a little-known vehicle called a SPAC to purchase Navios Holdings. Within a year she had led its IPO. Two further New York-listed companies and one logistics company followed. Underpinning her approach to dealmaking is the rigorous attention to detail of someone with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. There is also the intuition that comes from being a scion of a Greek shipping family. Her father was Nikolaos Frangos, the founder of Good Faith Shipping.

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Katharina (Kathi) Stanzel Managing director, Intertanko

Intertanko’s head office has recently gone through a major renovation to emerge brighter and with a strong modern feel. The same can be said for the transformation that has taken place on managing director Kathi Stanzel’s watch. Ms Stanzel has seen the financial health of the organisation revive under her leadership and the industry association both modernise and diversify into new areas. There has been a subtle rebalancing of its services to include a greater range of commercial services and a reconfiguration of the committee structure. At the same time, the commitment to traditional technical services has been maintained. There is also an enhanced working relationship with the OCIMF, which can only be good news for the industry’s owners, charterers and all-important safety.

Like his predecessor Efthymios Mitropoulos, Kitack Lim is demonstrating a keen awareness of the issues impacting the tanker sector. His championing of the HNS Convention is a prime example. Speaking at the 2016 IPTA conference in London he said: “With the number of ships carrying HNS cargoes growing steadily and more than 200 million tonnes of chemicals now traded annually by tankers, this treaty is needed more than ever. I have urged all states to accede to it as soon as possible, to bring it into force, and I hope you will, collectively, add your voice to that call.” He also had a clear message for those within our industry who prefer to work in silos: “Nowhere is this more evident than in governments, where we often find that areas such as maritime safety and navigation, port and infrastructure development, transport policy, environmental protection, fisheries, security, customs and border control all fall within different departments or different ministries.” In Mr Lim the industry would appear to have an IMO Secretary General willing to challenge the status quo and exert real influence to deliver substantive change. The degree to which he succeeds will of course be the true measure of his leadership, but Mr Lim is off to a very good start.

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Kevin Mackay

Chief executive officer and president, Teekay Tankers Ltd Kevin Mackay’ steady stewardship of Teekay Tankers was in evidence throughout 2016. “One thing we emphasised internally is that we are on a five-year growth plan (2015-2020). This does not mean we add 19 vessels annually [like in 2015]. When you have taken on a large meal – in our case [in 2015] new tonnage, in-house technical management and an STST company – it makes sense to take time to actually digest, before you look towards the next meal.”



Harry Theochari Global head of transport, Norton Rose Fulbright

One of the most engaged and engaging finance lawyers in the business, Harry Theochari combines a profound knowledge of how shipping, law and the markets work with a deep love of the industry. This translates into an involvement with almost every major maritime financial transaction – including those associated with China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” linking Asia, Africa and Europe. The Chinese Government’s vision envisages countries along the proposed routes establishing “secure and efficient land, sea and air passages.” Harry Theochari’s opinion is sought by the highest echelons of international governments. And he has of course been consulted by the United Kingdom Government on the maritime view of Brexit. Turning to London’s status as a pre-eminent centre for maritime business he acknowledges the strength of New York, Singapore and Shanghai. “But when you look at the centuries of expertise here, when you look at the fact we have got Lloyd’s of London here, most shipping transactions are still conducted here, the world’s biggest brokers are here, some of the best institutions for learning, for education are here, I think we are in good shape.” He’s right. But there is an important entity that he doesn’t mention that gives London an edge: Harry Theochari.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017



Christian M. Ingerslev

Chief executive officer, Maersk Tankers New in the role (although not to Maersk Tankers) Christian Ingerslev took up the CEO position in November 2016. He has held a number of different leadership roles, and in his most recent role as chief commercial officer Mr Ingerslev was an instrumental part of the development and execution of the Maersk Tankers “Taking Lead” strategy. And it is that contribution, rather than the few months at the helm of the organisation, that sees Mr Ingerslev place so highly. Taking Lead centres on ‘cost leadership,’ ‘active position taking’ and third-party services. It will be interesting to see how Mr Ingerslev has built on these achievements in 12 months’ time.

Mark Cameron Chief operating officer, Ardmore

Ardmore’s Mark Cameron vaults up the rankings by virtue of the powerful leadership he has shown as a chief operating officer, as the chairman of the International Parcel Tankers Association, and as an outspoken advocate for the tanker owner. This was exemplified at Riviera Maritime Media’s November Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference in London, where he raised the issue of deliberately delayed demurrage payments. “Most oil traders and oil majors seem to treat demurrage as their free working capital. It is about time that payment when payment is due becomes something that customers acknowledge and honour. “It is common that oil traders and oil majors look at files 90 days after a payment due date – this sentiment is bandied about in demurrage circles. So that puts the actual payment date at 120/180 days, which is not good enough.” He was equally forthright on ballast water issues. “Industry performance is not good enough: industry needs a fresh approach,” he told the gathering. “Ballast water treatment has a zero return on investment. When you are running a

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19 fleet of ships with a life expectancy of 25 years, it is very hard to come to terms with the need to invest something like US$3 million on a 15-, 16-, or 17-year-old ship. While the average age of vessels in the Ardmore fleet is significantly lower, I am not oblivious to this fact. Owners are being asked to make massive capital investments at a point in time when practicalities are not being considered.”

Jan Rindbo Chief executive officer, Norden

Mr Rindbo has headed up Norden since May 2015 and proven an effective CEO. He cites the management book Good to Great by Jim Collins as having had a strong influence on his own approach to leadership, but is quick to add “having the right people of course is integral to success.” Present results would indicate he is finding the right blend.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017


Jacob Meldgaard

Chief executive officer, Torm The Danish tanker owner has emerged from three years of restructuring (2012-2015) with a new equilibrium and confidence in future product tanker prospects. The man at the helm throughout the process has been Jacob Meldgaard. “We are very confident around the longer-term prospects,” he says, citing an average annual market growth rate of 4 per cent for the next five years. In Denmark, Torm is second only to Maersk as the leading owner of product carriers. In the troubled years, there were forced sales to cut debt, but those vessels have been replaced with secondhand units (rather than more expensive newbuildings). In November 2015, a short time after Torm was completely rehabilitated, four newbuilding product carriers were committed at Guangzhou Shipyard, China. Deliveries are scheduled for 2018, and will set the seal on a remarkable Danish comeback.


Nicolas (Nic) Busch

Robert Burke

The ambitious Nic Bush likes to stay under the radar and let fleet growth do the talking. This year a spate of chemical and product tankers have entered into the fleet, underlining Navig8’s status as the industry’s largest independent pool and commercial management company. “We focus on improving and becoming more knowledgeable,” he says. Third-party technical management is believed to be in the Group’s sites.

Ridgebury Tankers’ chief executive officer Robert Burke is a consummate deal-maker, and was recognised as an Ernst and Young dealmaker of the year in 2016. At the end of 2015 Ridgebury Tankers put its fleet of seven Suezmaxes, two Aframaxes and six MR product tankers on the market. However, by Mr Burke’s own admission, the market turned so sharply that the sale quickly became a non-starter. He foresees that 2017 will be a challenge, not least because of the projected deliveries into the market in the second half, and the risk that Korean Shipyards will focus more and more of their capacity on attracting tanker newbuilding orders. That said – and indicative of a true entrepreneur – he is optimistic and perceives opportunity in the year ahead.

Co-founder and chief executive officer, Navig8 Group

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Chief executive officer, Ridgebury Tanker

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Marco Fiori

Chief executive officer, D’Amico International Shipping A willingness to think differently is one hallmark of a good leader. Marco Fiori exemplified this trait when he elected to build a large series of tankers in Vietnam - a decision that has been wholly justified in that the delivered vessels reflect “Korean quality at Vietnamese prices.” These vessels have set new benchmarks in operational performance. The philosophy that underpinned them was – in Mr Fiori’s words – “that eco means both ecological and economical.” They must perform in the interests of the environment and the bottom line. His expectation is that when low sulpur fuel legislation bites in 2020 the vessels will have a competitive edge by virtue of their optimised fuel consumption. He says that after some difficult quarters business is picking up. Mr Fiori adds that he has already taken the biggest business decision he will make in 2017. “We will not be ordering any new ships.”

Mark Martecchini President, Stolt Tankers

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A big year for Stolt Tankers under the leadership of Mark Martecchini saw the chemical tanker specialist acquire rival Jo Tankers. Stolt-Nielsen bought Jo Tankers, entire chemical fleet for a total of US$575 million and is rightly regarded as a coup for Stolt-Nielsen, which will absorb 13 trading units and eight newbuildings into its fleet. “The cyclicality of our sector is well documented,” says Mr Martecchini. Consolidating the market through this acquisition should also consolidate Stolt’s leadership position for some time to come.


Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017


Kim Ullman Chief executive officer, Concordia Maritime


Bruce Karsh

Co-chairman and chief investment officer, Oaktree Capital Group LLC Bruce Karsh has lead responsibility for the investments venture capital firm Oaktree Capital makes in the maritime sector. Investment in the sector is still significant and there remains a strong focus on purchasing new vessels and purchasing shipping loans as well as distressed debt. There is a strong presence in the tanker market, including Navig8 Chemical Tankers Inc and Torm.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017

Last year we wrote that a hallmark of Kim Ullman’s career has been an ability to ensure profitable operations and the necessary financing for the fleets under his commercial responsibility. At the peak of the market he quickly secured good contract cover for the majority of the company's 10 P-Maxs. And when he saw early-warning signs of the market coming off he secured bankloan financing secured for the company’s fleet of 10 P-Maxs last year. “And with that we are in a good position not only to weather any [financial] storms in 2017 but take up new positions too.” Concordia Maritime, at the time of writing, is selling the IMOIIMAX vessel Stena Important to a large Japanese financial institution. This will be Concordia Maritime’s third sale and leaseback transaction in a short period of time. Under the agreement, the vessel will be chartered back on a bareboat basis for nine years, with a purchase obligation in year nine. The sale price of US$36 million and the transaction’s other conditions bring both strategic and financial values. “Once again, we have successfully conducted a good transaction that creates significant values,” says Mr Ullman. “Just as with the previous transactions in autumn, this is a way of preparing ourselves for a subdued market situation and the good business opportunities that may arise there. We are working actively on the fleet’s structure and disposition, and the leaseback arrangement enables us to continue employing the vessel in the successful Stena Weco pool.” Timing vessel purchases and sales is the key ingredient, and Mr Ullman has honed it to a fine art throughout his career. No surprise he was recognised with an industry leadership award at the 2016 Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference.

27 www.tankershipping.com


28 Scott Bergeron Chief executive officer, Liberian Registry

A defining characteristic of a leader is a willingness to stand up and take responsibility. Mr Bergeron epitomised this when he admitted that Liberia’s ratification of IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), with hindsight, was not the right decision. Representing 13 per cent of the world’s tonnage, Liberia is the largest signatory to the convention and without its contribution the BWMC would have been well short of its threshold tonnage to initiate its entry into force. “I was personally very reluctant to do it and, in retrospect, I would have waited,” he says. At the time he was persuaded by arguments put forward by shipowner organisations that its entry into force would prevent unilateral ballast water regulations being introduced in various parts of the world and “the reason then was well intended,” he acknowledged. But the BWMC contained two “fundamental flaws that IMO keeps having to relearn,” he said. One was to set implementation dates before ratification, which he said he had argued against when the convention was being drafted. “But we lost it during the deliberations … creating a big mess of confusion.” The other flaw was to demand a type of technology that did not then exist. He would have preferred a staged approach, “starting with definitive ballast water exchange programmes [followed by] a light technology solution that got increasingly stringent and more effective as the years and technology went on.” This direct approach and candour also explains why it has been another busy year under his watch for the Liberian Registry. Highlights have included a range of cost-saving provisions for owners and operators including options around extending vessel drydock periods, harmonisation of ISM/ISPS audits with annual safety inspections, and free access to an electronic seafarer certification and documentation system. The Asia team has also been bolstered and together with class society ClassNK trialled electronic certificates. Last year also saw the launch of the electronic oil record book, e-ORB.


John Ramage

Chief operating officer, International Registries Inc Last year was a landmark one for International Registries Inc (IRI) and its affiliates in providing administrative and technical support to the Republic of the Marshall Islands flag, says IRI’s genial chief operating officer John Ramage. The Registry was crowned by industry analysts Clarksons as home to the world’s largest tanker fleet. This status was achieved over the summer with additional tonnage joining the RMI Registry from markets in Greece, the United States and Asia. The key, says Mr Ramage, has been decentralisation of services. “It’s a principle that has led to an average year-on-year growth of 15 per cent since 2001,” he adds.


Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017



Kishore Rajvanshy

Founding managing director, Fleet Management Ltd Fleet Management Ltd led by the genial Kishore Rajvanshy has seen 20 per cent growth in its fleet. New offices have been added in Dubai and Turkey. With 405 vessels in the fleet, Fleet Management Ltd ranks as the world’s third largest shipmanager based on vessels under full technical management. There are 171 tankers, of which 120 are pure chemical and oil-chemical tankers, the balance a mix of VLCCs, Suezmaxes, Aframaxes, MRs and gas carriers. The company is targeting 10 per cent growth in the year ahead. The new offices were opened to support the growing business. “We have some clients in Dubai so wanted a representative office there,” explains Mr Rajvanshy. “The Turkish office is intended to tap into that nation’s pool of highly trained crew.” The company has also bolstered its relationships with crewing offices in Ukraine.

Alongside these investments, FML’s commitment to developing bespoke software has been maintained. For 14 years the company has run a suite of performance and evaluation software called PARIS and added new modules along the way. Right now the company is working on improving its big data analytics and making it compatible with mobile platforms “so owners can check-in while on the move.” This task is being undertaken by Indian software developer, HCL. Mr Rajvanshy concedes that it is an expensive undertaking but believes it to be a necessary investment if the company wants to stay at the cutting edge. Six years ago, FML introduced a behaviour-based safety programme called SafeR+ that was “tailor made for us by a consultant in the UK,” explains Mr Rajvanshy. “The programme sees

Bjorn Hojgaard


Chief executive officer, Anglo-Eastern Group

every seafarer undergo four hours of training before they board a ship. The aim is to direct the people onboard to take responsibility for their own safety. Under SafeR+, behaviours are tracked and incentivised. If at the end of a rotation a seafarer earns a minimum number of credit points for positive safety behaviour, his next of kin receives a cash bonus. The highest award is the ‘gold standard’ and Mr Rajvanshy reports about 20 per cent attain this level at the end of their contract. Looking more widely, he foresees further consolidation in the shipmanagement business and believes that companies that operate around 100 vessels will find the prospect compelling. “In our case our growth has been purely organic since our inception in 1995 and based on adding one vessel at a time.”

One year on from the formation of Angle-Eastern Univan Group and chief executive officer Bjorn Hojgaard reports that the enlarged group, which represents about 5 per cent of the thirdparty shipmanagement industry, is performing well. “The scale of our operations is truly astounding: 27,000 seafarers, in excess of 600 ships in full, technical management, and an operational presence everywhere it matters. It's a force to be reckoned with,” he adds.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017



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Gibraltar Maritime Administration, Watergate House, 2/8 Casemates Square, Gibraltar. Tel: Gibraltar (350) 200 47771 / 200 50424 Fax: Gibraltar (350) 200 47770 E-mail: maritime.registry@gibraltar.gov.gi www.gibraltarship.com

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Recourse to a well established maritime legal system.

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Registration under ownership, bare-boat charter and for ships under construction.

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Fiscal advantages.

Tanker Shipping & Trade conference & awards

The dates have been announced

14-15 November 2017

part of Riviera’s ‘Super Tanker’ Week 14-17 November 2017 NEW VENUE: ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, London SW6 1UD Located within walking distance of West Brompton and Earls Court stations. The website is now live at www.tankershippingconference.com


Howard Snaith

Stavroula Betsakou

Capt Howard Snaith’s leadership qualities were neatly showcased at the November 2016 Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference. In a lively session on vetting he displayed complete mastery of his brief and handled sustained questioning from co-panellists and floor with a calm and measured authority. Delegates got a clear insight into the work CDI has completed over the last five years to see that the cost of an inspection remains reasonable as well as the workings of the ‘motivated reasons’ initiative Capt Snaith introduced. Under this scheme, an owner that feels the fees being presented are excessive can claim ‘motivated reasons’ for cost. At that point CDI is legally allowed to look at the fees and make an assessment. “Since May 2014 we have done 5,200 inspections and received 25 claims for motivated reasons,” explained Capt Snaith. “Of those 25 claims, we have supported 18.” Capt Snaith clarified how the CDI scheme works in practice, challenging the misconception that inspectors are sent from one part of the world to another, and that operators are obligated to pay for their first-class tickets. “CDI divides the world into zones, and inspectors operate within a particular zone – not between or across zones,” he explained. They operate on a cab rank style rota to enhance the impartiality of the inspection process.” An inspector’s lot is not always an easy one. The vetting process often fraught. But credit to Capt Snaith for his sustained efforts to bring transparency and even handedness to the process.

The meteoric rise of Howe Robinson Partners' Stavroula Betsakou continues, with Ms Betsakou moving up 17 places in our survey to 33. An assured analyst with a complete understanding of the market and its drivers, Ms Betsakou is a valued voice in boardrooms and industry conferences. Her presence at the latter guarantees full houses and the video interviews to be found on tankershipping.com routinely achieve high ratings.

General manager, Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI)

32 www.tankershipping.com

Head of tanker research, Howe Robinson Partners


Erik Hånell

President & CEO, Stena Bulk A lifelong Stena Man, president and CEO of Stena Bulk Erik Hånell is a strong champion of innovation, perhaps best exemplified by the IMOIIMAX series of tankers. Two years ago he initiated a leadership development programme designed to identify the next generation of company leaders. What differentiates the scheme is the strong emphasis on case-study based learning and personality tests. Do not be surprised if the scheme produces a future Stena Bulk president and CEO.


Mikael Skov

Chief executive officer, Hafnia Tankers Hafnia Tankers is led by the irrepressible Mikael Skov. On his watch a fleet of 34 owned vessels, five vessels chartered-in and an order book of three newbuilds has been built up with two more vessels set for delivery in 2017. In an end of 2016 survey of market sentiment among 24 top Danish shipping executives, Mr Skov expressed concern that protectionist policies may encroach on the industry: “Our business is about as global as a business can be… the more restrictions that are put up, the less need there will be for transportation. Present uncertainties call for a higher level of confidence and risk management.” Whatever the vagaries of the markets, Mr Skov has an infectious love of the business. “I have been doing this for more than 30 years and I love every day.”


Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017



Paul Thomas

Rear Admiral, United States Coast Guard United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Thomas – whose responsibilities span inspections and compliance, marine transportation systes, and commercial regulations and standards – makes our list for a second successive year becase of his willingness to engage directly with the industry and communicate the regulations and regulator position in clear, concise and unambiguous terms. These are qualities not often associated with regulation.


Bob Bishop

Executive director, V. Ships

Bob Bishop’s talent in balancing executive responsibilities with the world’s largest shipmanager and committed involvement in the industry at large once again earn him a place on our top 50. A committed champion of training and higher standards he has famously spoken out on behalf of the captain and chief officer of Hebei Spirit and the plight of divers engaged in underwater hull cleaning. He has pioneered new approaches on crew welfare and regulatory compliance. “We have an influence on about 1,700 ships crewed by over 40,000 seafarers, and it is a major task,” he says. “But if we find way that should be useful for maritime organisations (whatever their size) in raising safety and crew welfare, we are happy to share them.”


John Schmidt

President and chief exective officer, McQuilling Partners Inc

Another successful year for McQuilling Partners Inc led by the dynamic John Schmidt. Reflecting on the market in 2016, he says that six events that impacted the sector were US crude oil exports; teapot refineries; port delay/VLCC spot rate correlation; West Africa militant attacks; Canada wildfires; and the lifting of Iranian sanctions.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017



Karen Purnell

Managing director, International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) The last couple of years has seen ITOPF significantly increase its profile among the wider tanker industry, especially the owner community. This is a direct result of a strategic decision taken by the organisation, led by managing director Karen Purnell, to raise its profile among the industry’s owners. This year has already seen the profile of the organisation raised further through “More oil, less spills,” an exhibition charting 50 years of co-operation among governments and industry for the safe transport of oil by sea, organised by ITOPF, the IMO and IOPC Funds, and a host of other industry partners. Preparations are also underway to mark ITOPFs 50th anniversary next year.

In parallel with these wider initiatives, the organisation has continued to deliver on its core mission. The organisation's latest statistics indicate that the downward trend in oil spills from tankers continues. The average number of large oil spills from tankers, greater than 700 tonnes has progressively reduced and since 2010 averages 1.7 per year. The ongoing reduction in the amount of oil spilt through accidents involving tankers is, as ITOPF points out, encouraging news for tanker operators and governments alike as they continue to work to improve standards of operations in sea-borne oil transportation. Today, some 99.99 per cent of crude oil transported by sea arrives safely at its destination.


Denis Petropoulos

Director, Braemar Seascope Pte Ltd and Braemar Shiping Service PLC) The garrulous Denis Petropoulos has been a mainstay of our lists. We recognise his industry standing, impeccable analysis and the excellent work done in Asia and especially across China’s tanker industry. A man who manages to balance the demands of his day job with myriad interests and hobbies as well as keen and practical support for the welfare of our industry’s seafarers.


39 Mark Williams Managing partner, Affinity Research

A sought-after analyst and conference speaker, Mr Williams has been busy building up the team at the Richard Fulford Smith-led shipbroking firm Affinity. With an impeccable academic and commercial background, Mr Williams has a particular talent for making complex industry data, relevant, engaging and most importantly, comprehendible.




Andrew Cassels

Director, Oil Companies International Forum 2016 was a busy year for the OCIMF Secretariat, committees and working groups, led by Andrew Cassels. Looking ahead to 2017, highlights will include publication of the third edition of the Tanker Management Self-Assessment and a host of new publications covering, among other topics, oil and chemical tanker manifolds, ship/shore emergency shutdown systems, inert gas systems, ship security and navigation. A man who has always set ambitious agendas, whether at OCIMF or in his previous industry roles, which have included serving as BP Shipping’s vice president of safety and operational risk, he says the key is to work collaboratively and to never lose sight that the people you work with are ‘not just bums on seats but people with home lives, families and problems.” The approach explains why he is one the industry’s most effective, as well as popular, directors.


Michael Kingston

Lawyer and IUMI representative at IMO, Michael Kingston Associates Lawyer Michael Kingston has shown an indefatigable commitment to polar issues and the polar code. The role he has played in bringing together stakeholders and championing a meaningful industry code cannot be over estimated. Never one to rest on his laurels he has played a key role in bringing to fruition a best practice forum, which will see its first meeting later this year. A huge personal motivation underpins his work. He lost his father when the oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded in West Cork, Ireland, at the offshore jetty of the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal on 8 January 1979.

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017

Kenneth Koo

Chief executive officer, TCC Mr Koo is a successful tanker operator committed to giving back and improving the environmental footprint of the industry he patently loves. Matching deeds with action, Mr Koo has invested several million dollars in supporting research into cutting nitrogen oxide emissions at the point of exhaust by almost 90 per cent and particulate matter by up to 75 per cent.




Patrick Tye

Senior analyst, Gibsons

An already well regarded analyst, Mr Tye’s stock has soared with the re-emergence of Iran on the international scene. By common consent a leading expert on the topic, he is also known as an authoritative voice on the global scene, again drawing strong crowds to the breakfast briefing he delivered at the 2016 Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference & Awards in London.



Fritz Heidenreich Founder and president, Q88 LLC

Fritz Heidenreich returns to our list by virtue of his company’s Q88.com platform. This tool is used by 75 per cent of the tanker industry and provides a useful service when it comes to sharing and leveraging information throughout the chartering and vetting process.

Tor E. Svensen Every year, Tanker Shipping & Trade Awards a key industry figure a lifetime achievement award that recognises the receipient's career in the business. The winner last year was Tor E. Svensen, formerly group executive VP at DNV GL. Mr Svensen has made an outstanding contribution to the industry. His leadership has had a significant impact in keeping a strong focus on safety and the importance of classification societies in the maritime industry. He continues this work having retired from DNV GL at Strathclyde University in Scotland.




Tim Wilkins

Regional manager, AsiaPacific/environment director, Intertanko

Tim Wilkins combines a profound knowledge of the environmental issues impacting the tanker business with a formidable contact book and an engaging style. Always well informed and prepared, he is known for his attention to detail and persistence, which makes him one of the tanker industry’s go-to people on regulation. He has also drawn plaudits for the work done at IMO on a number of topics, including the seemingly intractable ballast water treatment issue. Mr Wilkins is one to watch.


Guy Johnson L & I Maritime Capt Raja Sager

Head of fleet management services at MISC Our last entry is shared by two highly skilled professionals who are recognised for the campaigning work they are doing on raising tanker safety when it comes to tank cleaning. “The use of coatings has led to an epidemic of ever-stricter wall-wash specifications, prior to loading cargoes that only a few years ago would never have merited a wall-wash inspection,” says Mr Johnson. “But hiding behind a wall-wash inspection does not guarantee that a chemical cargo can be loaded successfully and without risk of contamination. Moreover, vessels are being forced to carry out unsafe practices as part of their attempts to clean further and harder to achieve pre-loading inspections (enforced by cargo interests) that provide no assurance that the cargo will arrive on-specification at the disport.” Capt Sager has been equally strident on the limitations of the wall-wash test, arguing industry should dispense with it. This passionate commitment dates from July 2012, when an MISC-owned 38,000 dwt IMO type II chemical tanker suffered a major explosion while loading methanol, resulting in the tragic loss of five crew. Following the incident, the vessel was declared a constructive total loss. There was loss of cargo and damage to neighbouring facilities, too. MISC has invested considerable time and resources to identify the root causes and contributory factors that led to the catastrophe. It has formulated a 10-point plan that was presented at the Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference in London on 15 November, as well as in a white paper uploaded to the Tanker Shipping & Trade Knowledge Bank: www.tankershipping.com/s/knowledgebank/download,view_86.htm

Tanker Shipping & Trade Industry Leaders 2017


Taking A Long Term View

Ship Management

Crew Management


Technical Services

Education and Training


Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation


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