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.

René Kofod-Olsen

René Kofod-Olsen

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.

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.

Bjoern Sprotte

Bjoern Sprotte

CEO, Ship Management

Appointed February 2021

Sprotte joins V.Group from OSM Maritime Group, where he spent four years in a number of senior roles, including chief operating officer, president and, most recently, chief executive officer.

His career started at Rickmers Group, where he rose from nautical officer to CEO of maritime services over a period of fifteen years, from which he moved to the position of vice president at Carnival Group, where he was responsible for the development and delivery of ship management strategy.

Holding a Degree in navigation and maritime transport, Bjoern originally pursued a nautical career at sea and later attended post graduate studies for his Master of Business Consulting.

Allan Falkenberg

Allan Falkenberg

CEO, Crew Management and Offshore

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

CEO, 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.

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.

Petter Traaholt

Petter Traaholt

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.

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