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The 5 lifetime achievers 2019

The five lifetime achievers are compiled from winners of the accolade across the globe at Lloyd's List's Excellence in Shipping Awards 2019, recognising their dedication, ambition and contribution to maritime. They appear in reverse order of event: Europe Awards in London; Greek Awards in Athens; South Asia, Middle East and Africa Awards in Dubai; Asia Pacific Awards in Singapore, and Americas Awards in Houston

As part of our annual Lloyd's List Top 100 most influential people in shipping series, we recognise individuals for their outstanding contribution to the industry

01 / Farid Salem, CMA CGM

CMA CGM veteran Farim Salem, who worked in tandem with the late Jacques Saadé for more than 40 years, building the French firm into a container shipping colossus, retired in September 2019. He leaves a lasting legacy.

Described by his nephew and group chief executive Rodolphe Saadé as ‘the architect of the CMA CGM adventure’, Mr Salem has mentored many executives who now hold senior positions within the group.

He also took on the role as Rodolphe Saadé’s special adviser after the death of his father.

Despite keeping a lower profile compared to Jacques Saadé, he has remained a highly respected and popular figure throughout the container shipping industry.

Mr Salem is renowned for his hands-on approach to business, an eye for detail in negotiations, industry knowledge, and integrity.

“His unique expertise, outstanding qualities as a negotiator and his incredible capacity for work are recognised around the world, both in our industry and beyond,” Rodolphe Saadé commented upon his retirement.


 Gregory B. Hadjieleftheriadis, Eletson Corporation

02 / Gregory B. Hadjieleftheriadis, Eletson Corp

GREGORY B. Hadjieleftheriadis, together with his brother and brothers-in-law, succeeded in making Eletson Corporation one of the most highly reputed tanker companies and one of the forerunners of today’s quality Greek tanker industry.

Eletson was among the few owners to realise the benefits of double hulls prior to the Exxon Valdez incident and was ahead of its time in ordering high-specification product tankers, creating a corporate culture and using innovative financing methods.

Throughout his 50-year career in shipping, from which he retired in 2006, Mr Hadjieleftheriadis was an uncompromising voice for safety, accountability and seafarer training.

Among many contributions to the industry, he was the first vice-president of the Hellenic Marine Protection Association (Helmepa) and was instrumental in establishing its Australian sibling, Ausmepa.

He was a board member of the Union of Greek Shipowners, a past director of the UK P&I Club and chairman of Lloyd’s Register’s Hellenic Committee.


Rita Al Semaani Jansen, partner,Ince Gordon Dadds

03 / Rita Al Semaani Jansen, Ince

INCE partner Rita Al Semaani Jansen has been with the firm since it was set up in Dubai in 2006, having previously worked as a senior lawyer at Denton Wilde Sapte, Berrymans Lace Mawer and Wellington Capital.

Based in Dubai since 1992, she has an unequalled depth of knowledge in the laws of the United Arab Emirates, with extensive experience in corporate and commercial transactions, ranging from mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, joint ventures, employment, start-ups and a wide range of commercial agreements for clients in various industries.

While she is highly regarded in her profession, Ms Jansen is also a mentor, an encourager, an inspiration and a role model for young professionals, especially women. She is a prominent figure in Ince’s mentoring programme, supporting individuals.

Ms Jansen is an active member of a host of associations and councils, including the Dubai Business Women’s Council, where she uses her leverage to push for greater balance in the legal profession. 


Xu Lirong, chairman, China Cosco Shipping Corp

04 / Xu Lirong, China Cosco Shipping Corp

XU LIRONG is chairman of the Chinese shipping gargantuan China Cosco Shipping Corp — born from the merger of the previous shipping giants Cosco Group and China Shipping Group in early 2016.

As well as in 2019, Capt Xu has regularly topped Lloyd’s List’s annual ranking of the Top 100 most influential figures in shipping and has been credited with transforming a state-owned giant into one of the most globally competitive businesses in the industry.

Capt Xu, who became China’s youngest master mariner at the age of 27, previously served in Cosco for 36 years, ultimately as deputy president of Cosco Group, before switching to join CSG in 2011.

Nevertheless, he has left a lasting legacy at both companies, gaining huge respect before he led a joint working group that hammered out the draft merger plan of the two giants.


Kathy Metcalf, president and chief executive, Chamber of Shipping of America

05 / Kathy Metcalf, Chamber of Shipping of America

US MARITIME veteran Kathy Metcalf is president and chief executive of the Chamber of Shipping of America.

She has been chief executive since 2015 and served in the Chamber for more than 20 years, as part of a career that has spanned both sea and shore time, regulatory and policy issues, government and industry.

Ms Metcalf has been heralded for her passion for the industry, her commitment and her humility.

She has previously acted as an industry adviser to the US delegation at meetings held by the International Maritime Organization, where she now advises as a member of the International Chamber of Shipping, with an emphasis on environmental issues impacting maritime.

Ms Metcalf is also an ambassador for the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (Wista).


The Top 5 lifetime achievers list is compiled of winners of the lifetime achievements award from the Lloyd's List Awards series. They appear here in reverse date order of event: Europe Awards in London; Greek Awards in Athens; South Asia, Middle East and Africa Awards in Dubai; Asia Pacific Awards in Singapore, and Americas Awards in Houston. For more information on the Lloyd's List Awards series, click here.

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