BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mr. Spyros Capralos serves since July 2014 as the non-executive Chairman of our Board of Directors and as a director. He is also the Chairman of the Compensation Committee. From February 2011 to July 2014, Mr. Capralos served as our Chief Executive Officer, President and director. Effective as of January 1, 2015, Mr. Capralos also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Oceanbulk Container Carriers LLC. From October 2004 to October 2010, Mr. Capralos served as Chairman of the Athens Exchange and Chief Executive Officer of the Hellenic Exchanges Group and for the period from 2008-2010 was also the President of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges. He was formerly Vice Chairman of the National Bank of Greece, Vice Chairman of Bulgarian Post Bank, Managing Director of the Bank of Athens and has a ten-year banking experience with Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche Bank) in Paris, New York, Athens, Milan, London. In February 2013, Mr. Capralos was re-elected as President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee for a 4-year term (2017-2021) and has served as Secretary General of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and Executive Director and Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the Organizing Committee for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. He has been an Olympic athlete in water polo and has competed in the Moscow (1980) and the Los Angeles (1984) Olympic Games. He studied economics at the University of Athens and earned his Master Degree in Business Administration from INSEAD University in France.
Mr. Petros Pappas serves since July 2014 as our CEO and as a director on our board of directors. Mr. Pappas served from our inception up to July 2014 as our non-executive Chairman of the board of directors and director. He served as a member of Star Maritime’s board of directors since its inception. Throughout his career as a principal and manager in the shipping industry, Mr. Pappas has been involved in approximately 300 vessel acquisitions and disposals. In 1989, he founded Oceanbulk Maritime S.A., a dry cargo shipping company that has operated managed vessels aggregating as much as 1.6 million deadweight tons of cargo capacity. He also founded Oceanbulk affiliated companies, which are involved in the ownership and management sectors of the shipping industry. Mr. Pappas is the Chairman of the UK Defense Club, a leading insurance provider of legal defense services in the shipping industry worldwide and is a member of the Union of Greek Ship Owners (UGS). Mr. Pappas received his B.A. in Economics and his MBA from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mr. Pappas was awarded the 2014 Lloyd’s List Greek Awards “Shipping Personality of the Year”.
Mr. Mahesh Balakrishnan serves as director on our board of directors since February 2015. Mr. Balakrishnan is a Managing Director in Oaktree’s Opportunities Funds. He joined Oaktree in 2007 and has focused on investing in the energy, chemicals, financial institutions, real estate and shipping sectors. He has worked with a number of Oaktree’s portfolio companies and currently serves on the board of Momentive Performance Materials. He has also served on the board of STORE Capital (NYSE: STOR). He has been active on a number of creditors' committees including ad hoc committees in the Lehman Brothers and LyondellBasell restructurings. Prior to Oaktree, Mr. Balakrishnan spent two years as an analyst in the Financial Sponsors & Leveraged Finance group at UBS Investment Bank. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree in economics (honors) from Yale University.
Ms. Jennifer Box serves as a member of our board of directors since February 2015. Ms. Box is a Managing Director in Oaktree’s Opportunities Funds. She also serves on the board of directors for Vistra Energy. Prior to Oaktree in 2009, Ms. Box spent three and a half years at The Blackstone Group in the Distressed Debt Fund and with GSO Capital. Prior to Blackstone, she was an Associate Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. Ms. Box graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. degree in Economics and a minor in Mathematics from Duke University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She is a CFA charterholder.
Mr. Blystad serves as Director on our Board of Directors since July 6, 2018. He is an independent investor located in Oslo, Norway. The Blystad Group, which is 100% owned and controlled by Mr. Arne Blystad and his immediate family, has a long history in international shipping. Mr. Blystad began, after high school, his career as a shipbroker in London and New York. He later started various ventures within the shipping and offshore drilling space. This has involved both private and public listed companies, where he has held various board and management positions over the years. The Blystad Group has today investments in various shipping segments such as dry bulk , chemical tankers, container feeder and semi sub heavy-lift, real-estate and securities.
Mr. Koert Erhardt serves as a member of our board of directors since our inception. He is also the Chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. He is currently the Managing Director of Augustea Bunge Maritime Ltd. of Malta. From September 2004 to December 2004, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of CC Maritime S.A.M., an affiliate of the Coeclerici Group, an international conglomerate whose businesses include shipping and transoceanic transportation of dry bulk materials. From 1998 to September 2004, he served as General Manager of Coeclerici Armatori S.p.A. and Coeclerici Logistics S.p.A., affiliates of the Coeclerici Group, where he created a shipping pool that commercially managed over 130 vessels with a carrying volume of 72 million tons and developed the use of the Freight Forward Agreement trading, which acts as a financial hedging mechanism for the pool. From 1994 to 1998, he served as the General Manager of Bulk Italia, a prominent shipping company which at the time owned and operated over 40 vessels. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Erhardt served in various positions with Bulk Italia. From 1988 to 1990, he was the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Nedlloyd Drybulk, the dry bulk arm of the Nedlloyd Group, an international conglomerate whose interests include container ship liner services, tankers, oil drilling rigs and ship brokering. Mr. Erhardt received his Diploma in Maritime Economics and Logistics from Hogere Havenen Vervoersschool (now Erasmus University), Rotterdam, and successfully completed the International Executive Program at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. Mr. Erhardt has also studied at the London School of Foreign Trade.
Mr. Nikolaos Karellis serves as a director on our board of directors since May 2016. Mr. Karellis is currently a Director of the advisory firm Marininvest Advisers Ltd and has more than 35 years of experience in the shipping sector at various financial institutions. Until 2013, he served as the Head of Shipping of HSBC Bank plc in Athens, Greece for 28 years, where he built a business unit providing a comprehensive range of services to Greek shipping companies. Prior to HSBC, he worked at Bank of America. Mr. Karellis received his Msc in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and received a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Roger Schmitz serves as a director on our board of directors since July 2013. Mr. Schmitz is a Partner at Smith Cove Capital Management LP, where he focuses on investment opportunities across credit and equity markets. Mr. Schmitz currently serves on the board of Gener8 Maritime Inc. (NYSE: GNRT). From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Schmitz worked for Monarch Alternative Capital LP, where he was most recently a Managing Principal responsible for evaluating investment opportunities in a wide variety of corporate and sovereign situations, both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Monarch in 2006, Mr. Schmitz was an Analyst in the Financial Sponsors Group at Credit Suisse, where he focused on leverage finance. Mr. Schmitz received an A.B., cum laude, in economics from Bowdoin College.
Mr. Tom Softeland serves as a director on our board of directors since inception and as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He served as a member of Star Maritime’s board of directors since its inception. From 1982 to 1990 he served in different positions within Odfjell Chemical Tankers, including operations, chartering and project activities. In August 1990 he joined the shipping department of IS Bank ASA and in 1992 he was appointed general manager of the shipping, oil & offshore department. In 1994 he was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of IS BANK ASA. In 1996, Mr. Søfteland founded Capital Partners A.S. of Bergen, Norway, a financial services firm which specialized in shipping, oil & off-shore finance, investment bank and asset management services and held the position of CEO until June 2007. From the second half of 2007 to today, Mr. Søfteland is a principal of the investment company Spinnaker AS, based in Norway and serves in various positions at EGD Holding AS, Sea Sea Shipping Ltd, Tailwind, Stream Tankers and Arise Dynamic Rig Supply. He received a Business Economics degree from the Norwegian School of Business and Administration (NHH).
Mr. Raffaele Zagari serves as director on our board of directors since August 2018. In his career he has developed approximately 25 years experience in the shipping business.
Since 2010, as CEO of Augustea Group Mr Zagari engineered and implemented the expansion and consolidation of the dry bulk business that has led to the incorporation of Augustea Atlantica, and its subsidiaries in Argentina, Singapore, London and Malta (“Augustea Group”). He has actively promoted the incorporation of CBC, AOM, ABML and ABY, the joint ventures in which Augustea Atlantica is a shareholder. He has funded the towage company Augustea Grancolombia in the Santa Marta area in Colombia and he has, over the years, worked closely with Drummond Coal and Glencore on their logistical/maritime needs for their local coal loading operations which have a combined 60 million tons yearly throughput.
During this time he supervised in excess of 50 sale and purchase projects (both new building and second hand), and more than a dozen long-term ship leases primarily with the support of Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. Since 1997 he has been actively leading the Chartering Department of Augustea Dry Bulk Division, and directing the other business of the Augustea Group.
In 2017, Raffaele was appointed Chairman of Augustea Group Holding SpA, in addition to his role as the Group’s CEO. He is also appointed as non-executive director in Steamship Mutual, one of the largest P&I marine insurance, where he also chairs the Underwriting and Reinsurance Committee.
Prior to joining Augustea, and for the period 1993-1995, Mr Zagari worked for Blenheim Shipping (a company of the former Scinicariello Augustea Group) during which time he gained extensive experience in the Japanese shipyards, Sumitomo Yokuska and Sanoyas Mitsushima, as assistant site supervisor. In 1996 -1997 , he worked at Zodiac Maritime Agencies with the operations department before joining the Augustea Group. Mr Zagari holds a Diploma in Commercial Operation of Shipping at Guldhall University London.
Tom Softeland, Koert Erhardt and Nikolaos Karellis
Spyros Capralos, Mahesh Balakrishnan and Tom Softeland
Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee
Koert Erhardt, Jennifer Box and Spyros Capralos