Executive Team

Supporting the V.Group Board of Directors, our Executive management team are responsible for developing and delivering the strategy and objectives set out by the Chairman and board.

While overseeing the Group’s performance against key financial, risk, operational, and customer objectives, the Executive team are also responsible for V.Group’s professional and ethical standards, reputation, and corporate responsibility.


Graham Westgarth

Graham Westgarth

Chief Executive Officer

Appointed April 2019

Prior to starting his career with V.Group, 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.

Matt Dunlop

Matt Dunlop

Group Director Health, Safety, Environment ,Quality (HSEQ) & Technical

Appointed July 2017

Matt is a Master Mariner and has sailed on Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels. His career ashore began in 1996 with Acomarit which was later acquired by V.Ships in 2001. His roles included time spent as a Ship Operator, Fleet Operations Manager and Fleet Manager, before taking up the role of Divisional Risk, Safety and Quality Director, Chief Operating Officer, and latterly Group Director Marine Operations.

As Group Director HSEQ, Matt is responsible for ensuring the company's Safety Management System or VMS is fully implemented ashore and afloat, and that risk is effectively managed and controlled. He is also Group liaison with all Oil Majors.

Matt is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Alastair Evitt

Alastair Evitt

Group Managing Director, Ship Management East

Appointed July 2017

A Master Mariner, Alastair has spent 42 years in the Marine industry, including 15 years at sea before coming ashore to work in ship management in 1990. Joining V.Group in 2001 when V.Ships acquired Acomarit, Alastair left in 2004 before re-joining the Group in 2013.

Prior to his new role, Alastair had been based in Greece for five years and had been appointed Regional Director, V.Ships Europe. Alastair currently sits on the Executive Committee of InterManager (President from 2010-2012) and is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute.

Allan Falkenberg

Allan Falkenberg

Group Managing Director, Crew Management

Appointed January 2018

Allan started his professional career in Maersk and spent 15 years there, going through the ranks at sea and ultimately earning his Master’s ticket. He then took up various management positions in the shore organisation, working with dry cargo, tankers and offshore vessels. His career with Maersk finally saw him become Head of Operations in Crew Management for Maersk Line.

Following a tenure as Managing Director of OSM Ship Management ROHQ, Allan joined V.Group in 2017 and was appointed to his current role in January 2018.

Allan holds a Master Mariner Certificate of Competency and has an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Elliot Gow

Elliot Gow

Group Managing Director, Marine Services

Appointed June 2017

Prior to joining V.Group, Elliot worked for professional services firm, Arthur Andersen. Former roles in V.Group have included Financial Director for V.Ships, Chief Operating Officer V.Ships, Chief Executive Officer of V.Group’s ship supply chain, and Chief Operating Officer V.Group.

Elliot has a BA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Strathclyde and is a Chartered Accountant, and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Deborah Grimason

Deborah Grimason

General Counsel and Company Secretary

Appointed June 2018

Prior to starting her V.Group career, Deborah held a number of senior legal and company secretarial positions. She was General Counsel at Lafarge UK and then Regional Counsel for Europe and Latin America working at Lafarge headquarters in Paris.

She has also held a number of senior legal positions at The BOC Group, British Coal Corporation, Nokia, Royal Mail and spent time at the law firm, Nabarro Nathanson in London. Prior to joining V.Group, Deborah was Company Secretary and General Counsel at Travis Perkins plc.

Deborah holds an honours degree in English Literature and Philosophy from Stirling University, a postgraduate qualification in forensic science, and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries. She is also a member of the Executive Committee.

Franck Kayser

Franck Kayser

Group Managing Director, Ship Management West

Appointed June 2018

With significant leadership experience in the ship owning sector, Franck started his maritime career as a cadet with Maersk in 1982, before joining the Danish Royal Navy. His onshore career spans more than 25 years and has involved working globally for some of the largest ship owning companies in the world, from Maersk and CMA CGM, to United Arab Shipping Company and Nile Dutch Africa Line.

Jim McHugh

Jim McHugh

Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO)

Appointed October 2017

Jim’s career saw him working with Motorola Inc. for 13 years in both UK and global HR roles and was based in the US for five years. Building on this experience, he became Human Resource Director (Europe, Middle East and Africa) at Freescale Semiconductor Ltd, formed through an IPO following its spin-off from Motorola in 2004. Jim also held the position of Group Human Resource Director of Exova Group plc prior to joining V.Group in 2017.

Jim has an MA (Hons) degree from the University of Glasgow in Psychology, an MSc degree in Human Resource Management from Strathclyde Business School, and is a Chartered Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Karel Drastich

Karel Drastich

Corporate Development Director

Appointed June 2019

Karel joined V.Group from CRH Netherlands, a global building materials business, where he has held the role of vice president for strategy and corporate development since 2018.

Prior to that he spent ten years with APM Terminals, the ports division of the Maersk Group, holding a number of senior M&A roles. Karel also spent time with Rio Tinto Alcan in the USA, Switzerland and Germany and with Vitkovice, based in China.

He has a proven track record of developing and executing corporate strategies to secure profitable growth in diverse international industries and has successfully led complex cross-border M&A transactions, from idea to completion, whilst also actively managing company portfolios to unlock value.

Karel has an MBA from INSEAD, and is multi-lingual in English, Chinese, Czech, German, Korean, Polish, Russian and Slovak.

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Posted: 22nd October 2019

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