04 June 2018: ” Greek shipowner Peter Livanos has hit out at what he sees as the “abhorrent” use of the capital markets by some of his peers and expressed a lack of respect for those opting to outsource operational responsibility.
“Many people, and many people in this country, have taken the public company route as a short cut to wealth creation because they had assumed the investor in the public space is uneducated,” Livanos said at Posidonia today.
“They have tried to take advantage of it and that is something I find abhorrent in the way the public sector has been utilized in the shipping space.”
Livanos said he took his LNG vehicle GasLog public given the high capital commitments of the sector, the illiquid asset type relative to other shipping markets and his status as an “investor and guardian of family wealth”.
“All that being said, it’s a nightmare running a public company,” he said at an ABS presentation on LNG shipping today, nothing the additional cost and the fact he could only spend 75% of his time thinking about what business to do.
Greek shipowner John Angelicoussis, a fellow speaker at the event, said he liked his company being private as it gave him the freedom to make quick decisions.
“Our charterers like it a lot,” he added. “If business is private they want it kept private. No waste of time with road shows and shareholder meetings and demands and this that and it be other.
“On the other hand, you can never say never. Who knows, it’s a capital demanding industry, and one day I may decide to do that. I can’t say for sure, but for the time being we will cope.”
Livanos and Angelicousis are, however, united in their belief they should manage their own assets, especially given the additional safety demands of the LNG market.
“I have very, very little respect for somebody who does not feel it is worthwhile to run their own ships, whether that is LNG or any other sector,” said Livanos, with immediate agreement from Angelicousis.
“If we have an accident, and we kill someone, it’s unbelievable costly, both morally and financially. The only way you can legitimately guard against that is to take full responsibility for the way you run your assets,” Livanos continued in a discussion chaired by Poten and Partners chairman Michael Tusiani.
“At the end of the day the accountability of having your own operations is fundamentally critical to the asset integrity that you maintain and use.”
Livanos added: “At the end of the day, if there is an accident it is our reputations that are at risk and our reputations are not able to be recovered. Others don’t care. They will leave [the industry] and go away and that’s not right.”
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