News Article 27/12/2005 B

Top names in Greek shipping honoured at Lloyd's List Awards (Shipping International Monthly Review, December 2005, p.6-9)

27/12/2005 - Shipping International Monthly Review, December 2005, p.6-9

The top Greek shipping personalities, companies and organizations of 2005 were honoured in a glittering gala dinner at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel on Friday, November 25, at the 2nd Annual Lloyd's List Greek Shipping Awards.

Organized and hosted by Lloyd's List, the event was attended by about 1,100 guests including major names in the Greek shipping industry and its business partners worldwide.

Speakers included George Vlachos, General Secretary for Ports and Port Policy of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine. Lloyd's List editor Julian Bray read a special message of greeting from Efthimios Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

In a surprise highlight of the evening, Alternate Minister of Culture Fani Palli Petralia presented a special award to Greece's Eurovision Song Contest winner Elena Paparizou, who praised the shipping community for maintaining the country's leading place among shipping nations. Ms Paparizou cited the title of her Eurovision-winning song ''You're My Number One'' as appropriate to the Greek Shipping Community.

Prior to commencement of the awards presentations, Dimitris Constantinou, partner of Ernst & Young Southeast Europe, as overall Event Sponsor, welcomed the audience. A global name in professional services, Ernst & Young has strong relations with the industry, which were reinforced recently with an involvement in a number of Greek public share offerings.

The winners

Dry Cargo Company of the Year sponsored by ABN AMRO, was the Restis Group dry cargo holding company First Financial Corp. The award, personally presented by Dimitris Anagnostopoulos to Victor Restis, was won for the group performance over the past six years in the dry cargo field and especially for a $740m deal last December when it took over 32 bulk carriers in early 2005. This deal made First Financial Corp the largest bulk carrier owner in Greece with 52 bulkers, all under profitable employment.

Tanker Company of the Year award, sponsored by Hellenic Exchanges Group was Dvnacom Tankers Management. Spyros Capralos presented the award to George Prokopiou, President of Dynacom. The panel chose Dynacom because it epitomizes the amazing renewal of the Greek tanker fleet after having sold virtually its entire older fleet in a modernization programme for nearly 30 new buildings. Dynacom is also one of the first Greek shipping groups to invest in LNG carriers.

Passenger Line of the Year, sponsored by classification society Germanischer Lloyd, was won by stock listed Crete based ferry company Minoan Lines. Torsten Schramm presented the award to Antonis Maniadakis, Minoan's chief executive. Providing ferry services for 30 years, Minoan Lines now owns one of the most modem, fast and luxurious ferry fleets in Europe with several of its ships receiving vessel awards. Minoan, having drastically improved profitability for shareholders, is also a leading shareholder of Hellenic Seaways and recently received ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System.

Shipbroker of the Year, sponsored by Marichem Marigases Worldwide Services was won by George Moundreas & Company. Stavros Meimetis managing director of Marichem in Greece, personally presented the award to George Moundreas. In addition to being one of the main Greek shipbroking houses, in recent years George Moundreas has been the pre-eminent newbuilding contractor in Greece with a brokering orderbook of about 70 ships worth $1.5bn for construction at various yards. The company just recently also moved to assist clients in the management of small chemical carriers, participating in Mare International, a specialised manager of product-chemical tankers.

Shipping Financier of the Year, sponsored by the Gr. J. Timagenis Law Office was awarded to Royal Bank of Scotland. Presented by Dr. Gregory Timagenis to Lambros Varnavides, director of shipping for RBS, the award was won because the panel considered tradition, quality and size. RBS has long been the single ~ largest lender to Greek shipping. In the past year alone, its Greek loan book rose from $5bn to over $7bn - equivalent to half the bank's worldwide shipping portfolio.

Newly introduced this year, the Piraeus International Centre Award, sponsored by the American P&l Club, was won by the Piraeus Marine Club. Intended to honour Greek or non-Greek companies or other entities for outstanding service to the shipping industry and for their contribution to the development of Greece as a modern maritime centre; the award was won John Xylas and George Tsimis because of the impressive refurbishment works undertaken this year and the fact that the marine club is symbolic of Piraeus'' vitality as a shipping centre and community. George Tsimis managing director of Shipowners Claims Bureau Hellas presented the award to John Xylas president of the Marine Club.

In addition to the 12 advertised awards, Lloyd''s List presented a special award - ''Man of the Sea 2005'' - to LouKollakis, principal of Majestic International Cruises, which earlier this year donated one of its cruise ships for two months to tsunami hit Sri Lanka, carrying aid to the country in c cooperation with Hellenic Aid. The award was presented by General Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. George Vlachos.

Another first-time award, Seafarer of the Year, was sponsored by the Tsavliris I Salvage Group. It went to CaptJohn Lazarou, master of a Victoria Steamship bulk carrier Nicolaos A, which rescued 15 shipwrecked Indonesian fishermen last July after their fishing boat sank about 200 miles off the Indonesian coast. A shortlist of candidates Capt. John Lazarou and Nicolas Tsavliris was submitted by the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation and the award was personally presented to Captain Lazarou by Nicolas Tsavliris.

Software house Ulvsses Systems was recognised with the Technical Innovation award, sponsored by Chevron Fuel & Marine Marketing. The award was presented to Pantelis Pantelimon of Ulysses by Colin Parfitt, president of Chevron. The award was won for the company's central product,"Task Assistant" a suite of software covering all marine activities on the ship and in the office. Also noted were the company's continual investment and updating of the product to take account of industry developments.

The award for Achievement in Safety or Environmental Protection, sponsored by classification society Lloyd's Register, was won by the Union of Greek Shipowners, recognizing the Union's campaign for more robust, safer shipbuilding standards. The award was presented by Alan Gavin to president of the UGS, Nicos Efthymiou and AIan Gavin Nicos Efthymiou.

John Angelicoussis whose group includes shipping companies Kristen Navigation, Maran Gas Maritime and Anangel Maritime Services, was named Greek Shipping Personality of the Year for 2005, sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland, in recognition of his pioneering role in several sectors, including the first Greek flag liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. Known to all as a strong defender of integrity, quality and safety in shipping, John Angelicoussis'' constant support over many years for the Greek flag and maritime education remain as strong as ever today. Lambros Varnavides of Royal Bank of Scotland presented the award personally to John Angelicoussis.

Another leading Greek shipowner Captain Panagiotis N. Tsakos received the first Lloyd's List/ Propeller Club Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Alpha Bank, in recognition of his long and successful career in shipping but also for his services to Hellenism for which he earned the title "Exarch Lord" from the Orthodox Church and "Ambassador of Hellenism" from the Prefecture of Athens. Apart from leading the Tsakos Group towards its success of today, and the birth of Tsakos Energy Navigation, he was a founder member of HELMEP A, was instrumental in spreading the voluntary model of Helmepa abroad, and has actively promoted Greek culture and language in Latin America, both privately and through the Tsakos Foundation. Christos Kokkinis, head of Alpha Bank's shipping division presented the award to Captain Panagiotis Tsakos.

Greek Shipping Newsmaker of the Year, sponsored by XRTC Business Consultants, was presented to Anthonv Argyropoulos of Cantor Fitzgerald by George Xiradakis, managing director of XRTC. This award recognised Anthony Argyropoulos'' leading role in initial public offerings and other share issues in the US by Greek shipping " companies in 2004-5, during which he has been instrumental in raising $1.5 billion in public equity securities, $600 million in high yield notes, advising on $1.5 billion in merger and acquisitions as well as restructuring of $1 billion in debt securities.

The ''Newsmaker'' and ''Man of the Sea'' categories were decided by editorial staff of Lloyd's List while all the other shipping awards were adjudged by a broad based panel of personalities and experts in the Greek shipping industry.

The judging panel comprised: Vasso Armogeni of Efoplistis Magazine; Dinos Caroussis, vice chairman of the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee; Nicos Efthymiou, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners; Markos Foros of the Propeller Club; George Gratsos, president of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping; Captain John Halas, general secretary of the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation; Professor Apostolos Papanikolaou, director of the ship design laboratory at the National Technical University of Athens; Vicky Roussos, president of WISTA Hellas, the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association; John Xylas, president of the Piraeus Marine Club.

The event draws on the prestige of the Lloyd's List name as well as the expertise of its parent, Informa UK. The Awards are officially supported by the top industry bodies in Greek shipping, including the Union of Greek Shipowners, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee. Supporting organizations also include the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association, the Hellenic Shipbrokers' Association, the Association of Greek Passenger Shipping Companies and the Propeller Club.

It should not go unmentioned that several winners of the 2004 awards supported the 2005 event with their sponsorship: Top Tankers (whose Evangelos Pistiolis won the 2004 Newsmaker award) sponsored the Cocktail Reception; Alpha Bank (2004 Shipping Financier of the Year) sponsored the Lloyd's List Propeller Club Lifetime Achievement Award and, to end the evening, a Champagne Toast to the Greek shipping industry was sponsored by Allied Shipbroking Inc., who won the 2004 Shipbroker of the Year award.

All in all, this was an evening to Celebrate Excellence in Greek Shipping, at which all the main personalities of the industry were present.