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.
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.
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.
V.Ships Cyprus, Managing Director
Appointed July 2017
A Master Mariner, Alastair has spent 45 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 current role in October Alastair had been based in Greece for five years as Regional Director, V. Ships Europe and Americas, Singapore for two years as Regional Director (Asia) and since July 2017 has served on the V.Group’ Executive Team. Alastair is a past President of InterManager (2010-2012) and is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Group Managing Director of Operations for Greece and China
Appointed October 2020
Panagiotis comes with significant leadership experience from the ship-owning sector. Before joining V.Group, he held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Costamare Inc. since 2012. Panagiotis also assumed a series of senior executive roles in Greece and China, aggregating 16 years of onshore service with Costamare Shipping Company S.A. and its affiliated Companies.
In his early career years, Panagiotis after graduating from Hydra Isl. Merchant Marine Academy in 1990, served as junior Officer on various types of vessels, joined the Greek Navy in 1993 and re-entered merchant shipping in 1995. In 1996, he joined Costamare Shipping Company S.A., where he advanced through the ranks at sea to Master in Command.
Panagiotis holds a Master Mariner Certificate of Competency, has an M.Sc. in Maritime Operations from Liverpool John Moores University and is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute.