On 18th July 2019, Infospectrum welcomed over 100 participants from 64 companies to its Singapore Counterparty Risk Forum at the Conrad Centennial Singapore Hotel, providing attendees with unique shipping industry insights and the latest trends shaping the sector.
The forum is an annual congregation of credit risk and compliance counterparts in the maritime sector, over an afternoon of insights and discussions and an evening reception that offers excellent networking opportunities. Mikhail Gerasimov, Chief Risk Officer at Pola East (Singapore) Pte Ltd, noted that the forum was “the place to be” for the maritime risk and compliance community, with the event raising topics which are dealt with on a “daily basis”.
A positive outlook on shipping and bunkering
In his opening address, Panos Panousis, Managing Director of Infospectrum, highlighted prominent issues which would be covered by the speakers and panel members. He added that despite there being many challenges ahead in the maritime sector, there was an overall positive sentiment in both shipping and bunkering. This optimism was echoed by the first presenter, Stephen Gordon, Managing Director at Clarkson Research Services Ltd, who delivered a comprehensive overview of the international trade, ship finance, and world fleet capacity developments which would shape shipping markets in 2020. His caveat was that sluggish economic growth could be a potential headwind for the shipping market.
Compliance ‘should be driven by business’
The forum moved on to tackle more specific subjects, such as practical solutions to navigate through uncertain times. This was skillfully delivered by Daryll Ng, Partner at Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance. Focusing on judicial management and scheme of arrangement plans, Daryll outlined the options available to creditors and debtors, and their associated merits and drawbacks — using the real-life case study of IM Skaugen SE to drive home his key points. The third session was presented by Su Yin Anand, Manager, Marketing Legal, Compliance and Company Secretariat at South32 Marketing Pte Ltd, who gave the audience her professional insight into the role of ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) in sanctions compliance (establishing UBO is one of Infospectrum’s core activities). She highlighted that compliance with sanctions regulations should not be driven by fines, it should be driven by business, adding that there may always be more to a shareholder or holding company than meets the eye.
Preparing for IMO 2020
Following this, Adrian Tolson, Senior Partner at 20|20 Marine Energy LLC, led a spirited discussion alongside maritime experts Craig Johnston (Gard AS), John Phillips (GP Global APAC Pte Ltd), Justin Tan (The China Navigation Company Pte Ltd), Peter Beekhuis (Maersk Oil Trading Singapore Pte Ltd), and Infospectrum’s Panos Panousis, to determine whether IMO 2020 would be “Oil and shipping’s Y2K event”. Adrian first summarised the potential events, including higher marine fuel prices, supply chain disruptions, credit availability, fuel quality, and enforcement considerations which could materialise come 1st January 2020. He then spearheaded the discussion, where our panelists, representing the perspectives of their respective marine insurance, bunker trading, ship owner/operator, or credit positions, gave their valuable opinions on how to adequately prepare for and transition into IMO 2020.
The forum came to a close at twilight, but the evening was far from over, as the venue became abuzz with conversations among forum guests, speakers, and the Infospectrum team. Ulrich Rasmussen, credit manager of Sing Fuels Pte Ltd, described the event as a “great place for networking” that broached “interesting subjects and discussions”. The evening cocktail reception presented further opportunities for event participants to delve into topics covered on the day. Iain Kempson, Deputy General Manager at Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd, appreciated that the event provided sound coverage of what the market may expect for IMO 2020, and particularly enjoyed the range of issues highlighted during the Q&A segments.
Celebrating Infospectrum’s 20th year
Yunlong (Joe) Zhou, Group Credit Manager at Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers (HK) Ltd, who had attended the previous Infospectrum Singapore forums, said that he sees improvements to the forum year after year. The fruitful event concluded with a cake-cutting ceremony, marking Infospectrum’s 20th anniversary.
We hope to see you at Infospectrum’s forum in September 2019 in London, England.
Keen to discover more in-depth highlights from the day? Click below to download the latest shipping insights from an expert panel.