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Shipping 2015 and Beyond

The 30th anniversary celebration of the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, took place in Hamburg.

The 30th anniversary celebration of the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, took place in Hamburg. The event was hosted by Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG and organised by Cass Business School.

Hundreds of guests attended the conference Shipping 2015 and Beyond and host, Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG, treated guests to a wonderful breakfast and lunch, before attendees enjoyed a full day of learning and discussion led by a high-profile line up of industry professionals.

Speakers included:

  • Anthony J. Firmin, COO, Hapag – Lloyds AG
  • David Landgrebe, CEO, HCI Capital AG
  • Jochen Thomas Döhle, Managing Partner, Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG
  • Jonathan Wilmot, Managing Director, Credit Suisse, London
  • Kostandis Koutsomitopoulos, Director, Global Maritime Partners Inc.
  • Ralf Bedranowsky, Member of the Executive Board, DVB Bank
  • Tom Eckelmann, Managing Shareholder, Eurogate GmbH & Co, KGaA

Shipping 2015 and Beyond(From left to right: Professor Nikos Nomikos, Mr Tom Eckelmann, Professor Costas Grammenos, Mr Jonathan Wilmot, Mr Jochen Thomas Döhle, Mr Anthony J. Firmin, Mr Ralf Bedranowsky, Mr Kostandis Koutsomitopoulos and Professor Michael Tamvakis)

First on stage was Jonathan Wilmot, who spoke about the cyclical and secular themes within the world economy and what lies ahead for shipping markets. Chaired by Professor Michael Tamvakis, Director of the MSc Energy, Trade and Finance at Cass Business School with Professor Nikos Nomikos, Director of the MSc Shipping, Trade and Finance at Cass as discussant. Professor Nomikos said, “The market has changed. We’ve gone from a productive to a consumer economy and it’s a slower economy than it was in the past."

Next on stage were Tom Eckelmann, a Cass MSc alumnus, and Anthony J. Firmin discussing the shipping industry at present. Their session was chaired by Jochen Thomas Döhle, who spoke about the future of the German shipping industry. He said, “The industry remains highly competitive in an exceptionally volatile market.”

Shipping 2015 and Beyond

The last session of the conference concentrated on shipping finance and was chaired by Professor Costas Grammenos, Chairman of the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, with talks from Ralf Bedranowsky and David Landgrebe.

Dynamic panel discussions followed each session. Among the variety of questions, people asked about the effects on the industry in the current global economy; exploration surrounding the infrastructure on shipping and how it will look in the future and how the Greek crisis may ultimately affect the shipping industry and trade. There were also discussions about sustainable energy and the potential implications of a move into renewable energy sources.

The conference ended with a lively evening reception and BBQ, providing professionals, alumni and current MSc students a chance to relax and network.

Celebrating three decades at the helm of education

Professor Grammenos joined City University London in 1982 and later founded the Centre of Shipping Trade and Finance in 1984. His goal was to merge academic theory with the best in business practice:

“From the very first day we made "theory and practice" an axiom, the importance of which is underlined by the Centre's ongoing drive to maintain a strong partnership with businesses in the City of London and other international cities.”

And the proof of his success in unifying ‘theory and practice’ was evident throughout the conference, with hundreds of trade professionals, alumni and current students - many of whom had had worked with or studied under Professor Grammenos.

Shipping 2015 and BeyondReflecting on the 30th Anniversary, Professor Grammenos continued, “The creation of the MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance in 1984 and later the MSc in Energy, Trade and Finance in 2003, was as innovative as it was necessary. We created a new model of learning in response to an ever changing business world and to structural changes in shipping, finance and more generally in international business. Back then, we saw a new world forming and we believed our students had to be well prepared to face this unknown landscape, which was coming gradually, but with certainty. This is as true today as it was thirty years ago.

Since its founding, the Centre has been busy. It has published over 120 papers in academic journals, as well as five books, in addition its staff consult with organisations and policy makers.

Professor Grammenos said, “We are always engaged in dialogue. From the beginning, leaders of the City of London and other international cities, governmental representatives, students and academics have engaged in a continuous dialogue – via the lecture the room, seminars, debates, conferences and of course academic theses.”

Over the last thirty years, the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping Trade and Finance period has organised seven Biennials, twelve conferences, nineteen Piraeus meetings, five symposia, thirty seminars, ten public lectures and over 350 speeches and presentations, involving a countless array of leading business executives and policy makers. As well as the creative dialogue between the business, the academics and the policy makers, the Centre’s aim was to expose students to the practice and realities of the real world.

Professor Grammenos is internationally recognised as the founding father of shipping finance. More than 3,400 students from 120 countries have graduated from his centre, meaning almost a whole generation of key shipping decision makers have been influenced by its courses.

The 30th anniversary celebration series of the Centre started in December 2014 in Athens and the event was attended by former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who praised Cass Business School’s Professor Grammenos for his "pioneering" teaching and research on shipping finance. Mr Samaras said the Greek nation was "proud" of Professor Grammenos for his work in "preparing the future and the people that will make it happen".

A current MSc student said, “I always wanted to find a masters course which would equip me with the relevant practical skills and knowledge to prepare me for an industry as dynamic as shipping. I am very happy to say that the course has given me this and more, as there are many relevant shipping networks and platforms available for students to develop those networks.

Commenting on Shipping 2015 and Beyond, she said, “I enjoyed being able to meet many alumni students who have gone on to find jobs and success in their own fields, as well as to find out about their post-masters experience. I also enjoyed exploring a new place as I hadn’t been to Hamburg before.”

Shipping 2015 and Beyond"These events are a brilliant chance to network,” said one alumnus. “I’ve connected with a lot of my old classmates. Despite the years I’ve been working in this industry and since graduating from the MSc over ten years ago, I always come away heaving learnt something new.”

The event is part of a global 30th anniversary celebration, with events to follow in Istanbul, Oslo, Cyprus and Singapore.

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