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Nikolas Tsakos receives honorary doctorate

Greek shipping tycoon accepts award in recognition of his global business success

Nikolas Tsakos was presented with the award of Doctor of Science, honoris causa from City University at a Graduation ceremony at London's Guildhall on Thursday 17 March. The award was presented by Professor Costas Grammenos CBE. Mr Tsakos, who graduated from Cass Business School in 1987 with an MSc in Shipping Trade and Finance, has since gone on to be one of the world's leading shipping magnates. In the 24 years since his graduation,

Mr Tsakos has become a flag bearer for the modern shipping business model of raising equity through international stock exchanges, as well as achieving success in the more traditional model of the private independent company, thus proving that both models can co-exist and flourish. He first explored the idea of raising funds through capital markets in his excellent dissertation for the MSc and continued the idea into his professional career.

In 1988 he established Global Ocean, a ground- breaking company which listed on the American Stock Exchange in New York and raised US$45 million. Whilst experimenting with the public model for company growth, he maintained and developed the family business which ran according to the traditional model where funds for growth come from internal equity, profits and loans.

Mr Tsakos' greatest achievement has been the success of Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN as it is known) which was launched in 1993. He founded and holds the positions of President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of this company which now owns and operates 55 young, well diversified tankers of approximately 6m dwt, which means it is one of the largest and most modern international public companies.

TEN has invested over US$5 billion in renewing the fleet and has constructed placed 63 new buildings in shipyards in the Far East since 1997. It has raised $500m equity from the stock exchange and $3.5b in bank loans; it has been the only public tanker company continually profitable since 1993 and has distributed, through dividends, over $400m to its shareholders. The company has exceeded US$1 billion in profits since its New York listing in 2002 and has returned an impressive 20 per cent return on equity on average per annum to its shareholders.

Professor Grammenos says: "To achieve all this and to become a household name in the capital markets - his family name already so memorable in the private sector due to his father's well-known group - Nikolas used his personal qualities which are more or less the same as those demonstrated while he was a student at Cass Business School to achieve such successes. He is a tremendous example to our graduating students and an inspiration, demonstrating the relevance and excellence of the courses offered at Cass."

Dr Tsakos says: "It is a great honour to receive this award from City University. I am very proud of the reputation of Professor Grammenos' Centre which has grown in the 24 years since I left. I accept this award on behalf of the current and former students of the Centre and for my colleagues across the world of shipping who have worked so hard to put the industry on the map, especially through a vastly increased presence in the equity markets."

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