Board of Directors
Accountable to our shareholders, the V.Group Board of Directors is directly responsible for the company’s system of corporate leadership.
As the group’s governing body, which includes our CEO and CFO, they’re primarily accountable for ensuring our strategic objectives are met, as well as our responsibility to operating activities, risk management, and financial performance.
Appointed March 2017
Prior to joining V.Group, John spent his early career with Procter and Gamble (P&G) with roles including leading the product supply chain function in Asia, and heading the global supply chain for P&G’s beauty care business. Moving to Exel plc, John ran the EMEA business, and was appointed CEO of Amsterdam based global logistics company, CEVA in 2007.
Retiring in 2012, John has since held a number of non-executive roles including Chair of NHS Blood & Transplant, Chair of Marken Logistics and Senior Independent Director at Electrocomponents plc. He is currently Senior Independent Director at Northgate plc.
John holds an MA (Hons) in Economic History from The University of Glasgow.
Appointed November 2020
Graham Westgarth, who has been Chief Executive Officer of V.Group since April 2019, is now assuming the role of Chairman of the Board. Graham held various senior executive roles across a career spanning five decades in the shipping industry. His executive roles saw him spend considerable career time with Maersk UK, Teekay Corporation, and GasLog Ltd.
Graham also held a number of positions as Director and Chairman of a variety of committees and organisations. Prior to joining V.Group, Graham was a company Director at GasLog Ltd, while also a dedicated member of the HSSE Committee, and Chair of the Operations Executive Group.
As well as being a Master Mariner, Graham has undertaken various finance and leadership courses, and is a graduate of the Columbia Senior Executive Development Programme. Graham also holds directorial positions with GasLog Ltd, Seagull AS and Gastrade, and is Chairman of the ABS UK Advisory Committee. Graham was also recently appointed as Vice President of the UK Chamber of Shipping in March 2020.
Chief Executive Officer
Appointed November 2020
Mr. Kofod-Olsen has a wealth of experience from almost three decades in the global shipping industry. In 2012, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Topaz Energy & Marine, a position he held until the company’s successful divestment in 2019. He stepped down after completing the integration process in 2020, having successfully navigated the business through an unprecedented oil & gas environment, while transforming the company into a global leader. Earlier in his career he worked for the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group where he held a variety of executive positions in numerous countries including Chief Executive Officer of SVITZER, Asia, Middle East and Africa.
René graduated from the University of Southern Denmark, and holds an Advanced Management Program Diploma from Harvard Business School. René sits on the Board of BW Offshore as an independent Non-Executive Board Director.
Appointed March 2017
James’ early career saw him working on international mergers and acquisitions in the London office of investment bank, Baring Brothers, and affiliate company, Dillon, Read & Co. in New York. Joining Advent International in 1997, James was co-head of Advent in Europe and led the European business and financial services sector team. James also led Advent’s investments in Nets, Worldpay and Equiniti, and has participated in other major investments.
James was appointed Non-Executive Director of the V.Group Board following Advent International’s acquisition of V.Group in March 2017, and is still a Managing Partner with them. He is also a Director of Nexi Bank’s Nets.
James has an MA in Geography from Cambridge University.
Appointed March 2018
Hamdi has over 40 years’ experience as a senior industrials practitioner. His career includes Senior Executive roles at Parker Hannifin, BBA Group, SCA Packaging, Allied Signal/Honeywell, and Alstom. He has previously held Chairman and Non-Executive Directorships at Rototherm Group, AESSeal, Husky Injection Molding Systems, Mold Masters, Olaer Group, Hyva Bv, NORMA GmBH, and other industrials businesses.
Hamdi is currently a Senior Advisor to OMERS Europe, one of the largest pension funds, as well as Chairman of both Tratel Group and Allied Glass Containers.
He has a BSc (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering, and Masters in Business Administration.
Appointed March 2017
Haris assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer for Wind Hellas, a private equity backed mobile company in Greece. Prior to joining Wind Hellas, Haris was an Advisor to Advent International, having also worked there between 2008 and 2019. Whilst at Advent Haris led the investment in V.Group, and participated in another 5 investments, including DFS, Equiniti, and the Priory Group.
Prior to Advent, Haris worked with Goldman Sachs’ UK M&A team and earlier in his career with First Manhattan Consulting Group, a boutique strategy consultancy in New York and Tellas, a fixed line telecom startup in Athens.
Haris has a BSc (Hons) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA (Hons) from the Wharton School.
Chief Financial Officer
Appointed March 2020
Petter joined V.Group from Eltel Group, a leading provider of technical services for power and communication networks, where he was Group CFO, based in Stockholm.
Prior to joining Eltel in 2017, Petter held a number of senior operations and finance roles in Wilhelmsen Holding ASA; initially combining roles as CFO and Deputy CEO of Wilhelmsen Maritime Service, then in 2010 becoming President of Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions. Petter has also held international senior finance roles with ASSA ABLOY, Boliden and Trelleborg Group.
Petter holds a diploma from INSEAD (Paris/Fontainebleau) on Strategy, Innovation & Leadership, and a BSc in Business Administration & Economics (Civilekonom) from the University of Gothenburg.
Appointed May 2020
Prior to joining V.Group, Paddy served as CEO of Euronav for almost 20 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the V.Group Board. Having qualified as a solicitor he relocated to Hong Kong where he first worked in shipping. Under his leadership Euronav grew from a family operation with 17 vessels to one of the largest international tanker companies with 73 vessels. Paddy is steeped in the contemporary maritime world and has taken a keen interest in safety, quality and the environment during his tenure.
Paddy is currently Director at the Royal Museums Greenwich, England, comprising of the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House. Paddy has a passion for history, art and literature and is a Life Patron of the Museum.
Paddy holds a LLB in law from UCL (University College London).