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Top 10 shipmanagers 2023

Anglo-Eastern, fronted by Bjorn Hojgaard, holds on to the top shipmanager crown for another year — but only narrowly, as Fleet’s fleet has gained ground

The majority of the elite group of shipmanagers have continued to advance fleet profiles over the past 12 months, as shipowners increasingly look to the sector’s services and value proposition to run vessels on their behalf; meanwhile, the merger of OSM Maritime and Thome helps relative new player Seacon make its rankings debut

01 / Bjorn Hojgaard, Anglo-Eastern

The mid-year arrival of capesize-plus liquefied natural gas dual-fuel bulk carriers Ubuntu Empathy (IMO: 9957000) and Ubuntu Humanity (IMO: 9957012) marked a new direction for Anglo-Eastern

The newbuildings, which were delivered by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding under the supervision of Anglo-Eastern Technical Services, reduce the capesize carbon footprint by 35% while offering more carrying capacity.

The company, led by chief executive Bjorn Hojgaard, completed the acquisition of Cruise Management International at the beginning of 2023 and rebranded it as Anglo-Eastern Cruise Management. The CMI fleet, already under the partial crew management of Anglo-Eastern, comprises 12 expedition class vessels of various sizes and three cruiseships.

Investment in enhanced connectivity via Starlink, with the 100th installation heralded in September, has had a positive impact on vessel operations and crew well-being. 


Kishore Rajvanshy, Fleet Management

02 / Kishore Rajvanshy, Fleet Management

Fleet Management, which manages 660 vessels for 130 shipowners, has launched a sustainability strategy, named Encompass. This encourages responsible navigation, environmental stewardship, safeguarding of people and working collaboratively. 

The initiative is part of a refreshed approach to ethical and responsible business that includes energy resilience, and recruiting and retaining talent.

Under managing director Kishore Rajvanshy, Fleet has rolled out the NOVA data and analytics tool to more than 60 ships under technical management. It enables precise analysis of voyages and ship performance, including vessel speed, greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption and the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator.

A shipmanagement joint venture was agreed in July with Jebel Ali-based Transworld Group to enable Transworld to focus on shipownership, while using Fleet’s technical shipmanagement expertise.


Rajesh Unni, Synergy Marine03 / Rajesh Unni, Synergy Marine

In a strategic move to further develop alliances, technology and talent, Synergy Marine founder Rajesh Unni has stepped up to executive chairman and stood down as chief executive. 

Daily management was transferred to Mathavan Subbiah, who took over as chief executive, and H Swaminathan and Ajay Chaudhary as co-chief executives of the shipmanagement business.

Unni retains his wider industry roles, including vice-chairman of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network, director of the Global Maritime Forum, and advisory board member at UK-based tech pioneer Core Power. 

The leadership changes reconfirm group policy and direction. Synergy is now the world’s third-largest shipmanager. It continues to champion initiatives in alternative fuels and holistic decarbonisation, and in safeguarding seafarer rights, promoting diversity, and prioritising mental well-being.


René Kofod-Olsen, V.Group

04 / René Kofod-Olsen, V.Group

V.Ships, the ship and crew management arm of the rebranded V.Group, maintains its push for growth, signing a strategic partnership with long-established Belships Management in Singapore. Belships manages its owned dry bulk vessels, as well as those from other owners, and has been integrated into V. 

In mid-year, V. took the management of a second 18,000 cu m capacity LNG bunker vessel. Gas Agility (IMO: 9850680) is operating in Rotterdam, a sister to Gas Vitality (IMO: 9909285), which has operated in Marseille since 2021. 

Speaking at London International Shipping Week, chief executive René Kofod-Olsen said shipping had to improve its appeal to both sea and shore employees. Critical to these efforts is creating structured career paths and adequate internet connectivity at sea.




Ian Beveridge, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement

05 / Ian Beveridge, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement

Chief executive Ian Beveridge has more than 20 years in leadership with BSM, including his role as head of shipmanagement, held since 2018.

The company has grown to 650 ships under management, 20,000 seafarers and 2,000 shore-based employees through a network of 11 shipmanagement centres, 26 crew service centres and four wholly owned maritime training centres. 

Beveridge is driving the digitisation of shipmanagement services in the belief that digitalisation and automation are key to mastering the complexity and quantity of Carbon Intensity Indicator, EU Emissions Trading System and other regulatory requirements. 

Significant investment has been made in smart technologies, specialist teams, and IT tools. 

BSM’s fleet performance centre in India is dedicated to optimising vessel performance and encouraging decarbonisation.


Mark O’Neil, Columbia Ship Management06 / Mark O’Neil, Columbia Ship Management

Columbia’s growth under president Mark O’Neil shows no signs of slowing, with agreements signed in 2023 with Indonesian crewing resources and agreement on “second-party” management in the Turkish shipping sector. 

The expansion required a degree of integration, which spurred the mid-year launch of Columbia Group. This pulled together several initiatives that had been developed separately, although with a loose connection. These initiatives cover maritime, logistics, leisure and energy services. 

The more focused vision reflects O’Neil’s “one voice” mantra shared with InterManager, where he is also president.

“Columbia believes in giving the client what he wants as opposed to what we think he wants,” he says.


Finn Amund Norbye, OSM Thome

07 / Finn Amund Norbye, OSM Thome

The long-planned merger of Top 10 managers OSM and Thome was approved in May 2023. Finn Amund Norbye took executive leadership, with a new senior team led by Olav Nortun and Tommy Olofsen.

There is a strong Norwegian flavour to this merger, which brought together OSM’s crew management strengths and Thome’s long expertise in vessel management.

At the end of 2023, the company had 388 ships under full technical management and 480 under crew management, served by 2,000 onshore employees and 29,000 seafarers.

A new vision, mission and values statement has been underpinned by support for seafarers’ mental health initiatives.

OSM Thome and Oslo-based Pherousa Green Shipping are already collaborating on the design and construction of six 63,000 dwt ultramax dry bulk carriers featuring zero-emissions propulsion.


Carl Schou, Wilhelmsen Ship Management08 / Carl Schou, Wilhelmsen Ship Management

Wilhelmsen has reported quarter-by-quarter increases in revenue from its shipmanagement activity, posting $20m for Q1 2023 and $22m for Q2.

Income was lifted by a higher number of vessels under full technical management and growth in both crew management and auxiliary services.

At the start of 2023, chief executive Carl Schou signed a memorandum of understanding with Affinity Shipping managing partner Richard Fulford-Smith to jointly establish an independent company that will provide comprehensive compliance services related to the EU ETS.

The old Barber Ship Management brand was revived in October 2023 for management of Wilhelmsen’s managed tankers. MPC Capital is the joint venture partner, with Roine Alquist as its chief executive.


John-Kaare Aune, Wallem Group09 / John-Kaare Aune, Wallem Group

Wallem, now in its 120th year, remains one of the smaller managers in the Top 10, with 212 vessels under management. 

Leadership suffered a wobble in 2021 with the resignation of Frank Coles, filled by promoting the head of the shipmanagement division, John-Kaare Aune, to chief executive.

Aune announced his own resignation in October 2023, after stabilising the business and preparing it for decarbonisation. The board has announced his replacement as John Rowley, formerly with Lloyd’s Register.

Wallem has long experience of managing tankers, dry bulk and car carriers. In 2023, it added the first dual-fuel LNG carrier. 

Aune said he was unconcerned about consolidation among fellow managers. His owners are long-term players, working in partnership with Wallem for two or three decades. He sees “no benefit” in consolidation.


Guo Jinkui, Seacon Shipping Group

10 / Guo Jinkui, Seacon Shipping Group

As an emerging player in shipmanagement, Guo’s Seacon Shipping Group entered the Top 10 rankings for the first time, with more than 170 vessels under full technical management.

This was partly owing to the merger of OSM Maritime and Thome in 2023, which freed up a slot, as well as the company’s own efforts.

Guo acknowledges his company is still young compared with foreign counterparts, but he aims to build the group into a globally leading player.

His shipping career began at local shipmanager Shandong Haifeng Ship Management, where he worked for eight years between 1995-2003. He then joined Hong Kong peer Glory Asia Group as general manager.

Guo founded Seacon in late 2012, and the group successfully listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in March 2023.


The Top 10 shipmanagers list is based on total fleet under full technical management derived from data provided by the companies and public sources


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