Ship management trade association InterManager has joined the ranks of shipping industry organizations that are recognizing Asia’s growing maritime influence and have looked east for leaders.
Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. (PTC) Vice-Chairman and CEO Gerardo A. Borromeo was elected as the new President of InterManager, an international trade association for in-house and third party ship managers. Borromeo is the first Filipino to be elected unopposed for this leading post and will serve a two-year term of office, succeeding Alastair Evitt, the managing director of Meridian Marine Management.
The decision follows other high-profile appointments of Asian executives. Since January, Koji Sekimizu has led the International Maritime Organization and in May, Masamichi Morooka took over as chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping.
The value that his Asian roots bring to InterManager is not lost on Mr. Borromeo.
“I am honored to be the first Filipino to be appointed InterManager president, given that Asia now supplies more than half of the world’s seafarers and nearly half of the world fleet is under Asian control,” he said. “I will be able to interact with Asia more closely but at the same time I will be expected to retain a global focus .”
PTC, which deploys more than 33,000 seafarers annually, is one of the largest crew management companies in the Philippines and Mr. Borromeo believes his crewing experience was another key factor in his appointment.
“The human element is a key driver. We are at an interesting crossroads between ship management and crew management. Ship management is not just about safe shipping, but also about pushing the management capability on board ships.” According to Mr. Borromeo, one of his main priorities will be the development of the young cadet and young executive program.
“InterManager must lay the groundwork for the future. And a key part of that is being able to attract people to a career not just at sea but in shipping. You can build a ship in a year, but it takes 10 years to build a cadet into a master. We need to balance out the cyclicality between building ships and having capable people to manage them,” he said.
Given the economic climate, he acknowledges it will be challenging to push the development of global maritime professionals, as he prefers to call seafarers.
“Times are difficult. It’s all a question of how we maximize the return on investment in assets and people. We all need to think long term and shipmanagers must work with owners to allocate resources properly. InterManager will continue to engage with all the necessary stakeholders to ensure the safe operation of ships.”
Welcoming Mr. Borromeo’s appointment, lnterManager secretary-general Kuba Szymanski said, “We believe Gerardo Borromeo will be well placed to provide strong and positive leadership to our organization at a time when the shipping industry is facing tough economic challenges.”
The appointment was formalized during the association ‘s Annual General Meeting where four new Vice Presidents were also elected to focus on specific areas of InterManager business. They are: Alex Albertini of Marfin Management who takes up the role of Treasurer; Peter Curtis of Seaspan Ship Management who will focus on the role of the Secretariat; Wim Van Noortvijk of ISSA who will concentrate on Membership; and Ian MacLean of Hill Dickinson who will become General Counsel to the Association.
Over the past several years, Borromeo has served on the Executive Committee of InterManager which now has a membership of 91 – both Full and Associate members – involved in the management of almost 5,000 vessels and some 250,000 crew.
Borromeo has been responsible for the development and implementation of the PTC Group’s strategic initiatives and business development activities engaged in crew management, education and training; medical diagnostics; chartering and logistics; agency and freight forwarding; real estate development; and international professional placement.
Borromeo earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He also serves a Vice Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Filipino Shipowners Association and a private sector representative on the Board of Directors of the Maritime Industry Authority.