VV is Looking for a PR Manager in London

VesselsValue is looking for a PR Manager to join the PR team in the London office, working with the Head of PR, Claudia Norrgren and Senior Data Editor, Craig Jallal (me).

About VesselsValue

VV is the world’s leading online vessel valuation provider. We have over 350 clients spanning 45 countries, including major banks, investment funds, shipowners, ship managers and more.

We have 4 offices: London, (Hammersmith), Isle of Wight, Stoke and Singapore. We currently have over 75 employees and are rapidly expanding, looking to increase growth of VesselsValue in Asia.

VV is a creative, forward thinking and hard-working company and the successful candidate should share these values.

The Role

On average VesselsValue features in around 30 articles a week and this coverage is vital to the continued growth of the company.

Your role will be to establish new press relationships with magazines, editors and journalists throughout Europe and the Americas. You will need to be self-sufficient in creating story ideas to pitch, finding inspiration from the various VV databases. You will be supported by the Senior Data Editor, who answers interview questions and creates data/reports for press, as well as the Head of PR, who will be based in Singapore and covering the Asian magazines.

The ideal candidate will be a former shipping journalist or have experience in shipping PR.

PR Manager role will include, but are not limited to:

  • Read financial, national and shipping articles for inspiration and potential contacts
  • Make contact with and account manage journalists and publishing houses
  • Meet press at events, conferences and meetings with the Senior Data Editor
  • Work with the Head of PR to design and create reports in line with the PR & Marketing Plan
  • Work with the graphic designer to design final infographics and reports
  • Discuss story ideas with the Data team on the Isle of Wight
  • Source quotes from the right VV member of staff and write interview responses

Key skills required

  • High skill level in excel (pivot tables, Vlookups, IF functions are used daily)
  • Must have attention to detail – journalists will print verbatim what you send them!
  • Write fluently and concisely
  • Network at conferences
  • Make contacts and account manage
  • Multitask various data projects at once
  • Hard working
  • Creative
  • Design skills for reports, graphs and infographics
  • Shipping background essential

Please note: Don’t send you CV and covering letter to me. Please send them to recruitment@vesselsvalue.com.


Fast neue Frachter fahren in die Schrottpresse – DIE WELT

Erstmals nehmen Reedereien Schiffe nach nur 14 Jahren aus ihren Flotten und verkaufen sie an Wertstoffhändler. Üblich sind bisher 22 Jahre. Die Frachter werden nicht mehr gebraucht

Source: Fast neue Frachter fahren in die Schrottpresse – DIE WELT

Over USD 100m of Ships in the Search for Flight MS804

#MS804, #EgyptAir

#MS804, #EgyptAir

The Rise and Rise of VesselsValue

Five years ago, ship brokers were introduced to a scary new phrase, which was to forever disrupt the cozy and somewhat Delphic world of desktop ship valuations. That phrase was “quantitative analyst1”, which first appeared in a Tradewinds article describing the launch of the mapping, ship search and valuation provider, VesselsValue in May 2011. Today, most shipping people are familiar with work of “quants”, and their role in the examination of big data to produce meaningful and useful information, but five years ago, the launch of VesselsValue was nothing short of a revolution.

Behind that revolution was years of hard work. Indeed, the origins can be traced back to 1976, when VesselsValue CEO, Richard Rivlin, joined Clarksons as a trainee ship broker and helped set up a computer system for the Sale and Purchase department. Innovation is a theme throughout Richard’s career. He was a founding member of Braemar Shipbroking in 1983. In 1993, he formed Seasure Shipbroking and it was then that the outline for VesselsValue began to take shape.

The catalyst was the 2008 financial crisis, when a slump in ship sales forced ship brokers to declare that with no “last done” ship sale, the market was illiquid, and therefore ship values could no longer be given.

“This was exactly the time when banks required values,” says Richard. “It was then I decided to activate my plan for VesselsValue.” Together with his brother, Christopher, a professor of mathematics, they built the first version of VesselsValue in Excel. However, the complex multi-regression analysis needed a new approach. Ben Durber and BB Solutions were brought in to develop the model and the website, which went live on Friday 13th May 2011.

Looking back on the last five years, Richard feels the hardest part was building the ship database. “The database had to be in a particular format and structure to ensure high-speed access. We decided to build our own database, which is why we built up a large team of researchers and analysts,” he said.

Ship finance providers, with their familiarity with the role of “quants” and regression models were the first to subscribe to VesselsValue. For them it ticked the boxes of transparency and accuracy. The methodology also satisfied the rigorous requirements of the risk analysis and compliance departments.

The shipping industry was a bit slower to recognize the ascendancy of VesselsValue, but in September 2012, VesselsValue was awarded “Highly Commended” at the Lloyd’s List Global Awards for Business Innovation. Since then VesselsValue has continued to grow and add new features:

  • Friday 13th May 2011: VesselsValue goes live
  • October 2012: Daily historical values added back to 2007
  • November 2012: VV+ search tool added
  • February 2013: LNG and LPG added
  • November 2013: Small tankers added
  • September 2014: Isle of Wight office opened, led by Simon Hastain
  • May 2015: One million valuations!
  • June 2015: London team says goodbye Chiswick, hello Hammersmith
  • June 2015: Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) added to VV$ module
  • July 2015: Adrian Economakis and Georgina Gavin ring the Nasdaq closing bell during MarineMoney week
  • September 2015: VV opens SE Asia representative office in Singapore
  • May 2016: The launch of VV Offshore

The shipping banks have been the driving force behind demands for the valuation of offshore vessels. This sector is currently going through its worst slump in living memory, and the launch of VV Offshore is timely, and mirrors the launch of the original modules of VesselsValue.

Looking ahead, Richard sees the continuing growth of transparency of shipping information for all in the industry. “In shipping, the increasing automation of services will be applied to processes and business sectors, which many previously thought to be impossible to automate,” says Richard.

The VesselsValue state of play in May 2016:

  • Four offices (Isle of Wight, London, Singapore, Stoke)
  • 66 employees and growing fast
  • Cargo Shipping, Offshore, and other departments established
  • 20 languages spoken across the company
  • 300 current clients including the world’s leading banks, funds, ship owners, and others
  • 2,260 total mentions in the press, across 37 countries, ranging from Greece to Fiji
  • Richard Rivlins’s 40th year in shipping!

We’ll leave you with one final thought…

  • The largest taxi operation in the world owns no cars – Uber
  • The largest property rental company in the world owns no property – Airbnb
  • The largest music distribution company in the world owns no music – Spotify
  • The largest shipping valuation company in the world owns no ships – VesselsValue


Notes: 1 According to a search of the Tradewinds archive, the phrase “quantitative analyst” was first used in May 2011, in an interview with Alex Adamou, the quantitative analyst at VesselsValue.

Des Plates-Formes au Large du Cameroun

Offshore Map Launch

VesselsValue Offshore Featured in Tradewinds

VesselsValue has spent five years honing its skill in general shipping and now turns its hand to offshore

Darrin Griggs Oslo (http://www.tradewindsnews.com/weekly/486738/big-data-meets-osv-values)

London-based VesselsValue has today rolled out a new online service aimed at the daunting task of giving accurate values, with daily updates, for the world’s entire fleet of offshore support vessels (OSVs).

While asset values are the core of the service, it also includes live, interactive maps of OSVs with a wealth of data per ship. A unique feature is that the OSVs can be overlaid on detailed maps of the infrastructure they serve, such as wells, rigs, pipelines, platforms and licence blocks around the world (see story, right).

Using statistical regressions to achieve a “bell-shaped curve” of results, the company is able to crunch big data via an algorithm to peg OSV values within an accuracy of 10%, indicates VesselsValue offshore manager Miles Cole.

And the service already has plenty of data to crunch. Cole says he and his team, including more than 40 analysts, have spent the past 15 months gathering 96 separate lines of data per ship for a whopping 7,200 offshore ships.

Of the total database, about 6,000 of those are platform supply vessels (PSVs) and anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels, while the other 1,200 are fast support vessels (FSV), emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) and oceangoing tugs.

Cole says VesselsValue has approached some large OSV fleet owners who have expressed “shock” at the sheer amount and detail of data it has collected on these ships.

“If a vessel is sold the night the before, we look to be within 10% on either side of the valuation accuracy on that bell-shaped curve. In terms of accuracy for anchor handlers and PSVs, we are in that region now,” Cole told TradeWinds, adding that the service is set to improve as the data grows.

As proof, Cole points to the historical sale of a Solstad vessel. Working from the data today, VesselsValue’s algorithm predicted a price of $18.66m for the sale of the 10,880-bhp AHTS vessel Nor Captain (built 2007), which went for $19m in June 2012.

Cole uses the example of the past sale because so few sales are happening now. With the help of brokers and owners, his team has registered about 660 trading sales from 1990 to 2016.

Broker valuations are the next best thing to trading sales, in terms of the way they feed data into the algorithm to develop accuracy and make comparisons, says Cole. So they also compare the algorithm’s results to 3,000 to 4,000 vessel valuations from offshore brokers.

VesselsValue is entering offshore at a critical time for valuations. Just about everyone in the industry knows OSV values are way down from book values and most owners, if not all, have been forced into large write-downs.

As these assets are connected to loan covenants, values are one of the most watched data points. And in today’s market, producing valuations is no mean feat, because of the severe downturn, lost charters and hundreds of layups, not to mention an extreme lack of trading sales, especially for newer ships.

Pegging asset values, with accuracy, for thousands upon thousands of individual OSVs is a “big data” promise that is certain to meet a wall of scepticism in the offshore sector — but it will not be the first such wall VesselsValue has encountered.

VesselsValue has spent the past five years building up in general shipping, for tankers, bulkers and the like. As a spin-off of Richard Rivlin’s sale-and-purchase specialist Seasure Shipbroking, the company entered general shipping back in May 2011.

It was also at a low point in the cycle and the company encountered its share of sceptics, says VesselsValue communications manager Claudia Norrgren.

“It has taken awhile but people are seeing the value of having this type of data instantly and in having the level of transparency that the market just never was provided before,” said Norrgren.

Today, it generates in the region of 50,000 live valuations daily and also counts about 80% of the world’s shipping banks among its customers, which includes also lawyers and finance houses.

TradeWinds cites VesselsValue on a regular basis in its stories. Some users say its values are “extremely close” in markets with a high volume of trading sales, such as tankers and bulkers, and show “good accuracy”, around 10% deviance in other markets with fewer trading sales, such as LNG and LPG.

Now, the aim is to duplicate the success for vessels in the oil-and-gas industry but the valuation algorithm is especially tailored for offshore vessels, and it is much more complex than many sceptics may first believe.

For the 96 rows of data per ship for the 7,200 OSVs, VesselsValue has detailed all the points that offshore brokers tend take into account for valuations, based on help from unnamed offshore brokers in seven global regions and shipowners, as well.

Along with obvious capacities like dwt, bollard pull and so on, the 96 separate data rows range from the ship design, to the engine type, to the under-deck tanks, to the generators, to winches, to navigation and communications systems. A value weight is given for the country of the equipment’s origin, the yard that built the ship and for the owner that ordered it, or for the owner that sold it.

In addition to these many features, Cole says VesselsValue has also found a high correlation with the oil price, which influences the predicted value by about 80%.

But why go into offshore?

“All of our clients have been asking for it,” said Norrgren.

“When you see values falling and no one can give an answer about where values actually are, then there is a huge gap in the market. There is a gap for clear, transparent valuations for people who have lots of different vessels on their portfolios and orderbooks. We see huge demand from existing and potential clients.”

Comment Piece in Loadstar: a Maersk Line IPO?

While the recent history of container shipping has been turbulent, to say the least, one of the weirdest constants has been the AP Møller-Maersk Group share price.

In private conversations with senior Maersk executives, it has become clear that while the plaudits of being a bellwether company are welcome, the glow recedes over time.

“We have retuned profits year after year to investors in an industry that often fails to do that, and yet our share price has stubbornly remained the same – one of management’s biggest challenges is increasing the share prices,” one candidly told me a few months ago.

Indeed, go back five years to 2011 and you will find Maersk’s share was Dkr10,390 ($1,594), while today it stands at Dkr9,255 ($1,422), and although there have been some highs and lows, the story is of a share price that almost appears etched in stone.

So, in the spirit of speculation that all blue-chip conglomerates attract, we wondered what would happen if the AP Møller-Maersk board took the radical, nigh-inconceivable, step of separately listing its container shipping unit – what it would look like in terms of the market, and how that might affect the corporation’s other divisions.

Craig Jallal, senior data editor at vesselsvalue.com, says:

Since the start of the global economic downturn in 2008, AP Møller-Maersk has tried and tested many strategies to keep container division Maersk Line in profit. These range from the introduction of ever-larger vessels to lower the cost per teu, to the Daily Maersk, which offered guaranteed delivery times to entice shippers to stay loyal to its service.

On the operational side, Maersk Line was a one of the first to adopt slow-steaming and warm lay-up. But none of these strategies have produced the gains expected. For a while, the profits generated by Maersk Oil kept the group in the black, but with a prolonged downturn in the oil price and the dire state of the container sector, is there any point in being a conglomerate?

Maersk Group defines its business units as Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling and APM Shipping Services (Maersk Supply Service, Svitzer, Maersk Tankers and Damco). In this article, we examine if there is any value and/or cost savings that would accrue from spinning-off Maersk Line as a separate entity via an IPO.

As such, Maersk Line would still be the largest container line by value, with a current fleet of 262 owned vessels with a value of $12.1bn (live vessels and newbuildings).

VV Chart 1

Source: Vesselsvalue.com

Source: Vesselsvalue.com

This is far larger than any of the currently listed public container companies (see table below, which includes liner companies and vessel-owning container companies). However, even including the likes of Seaspan fails to find a champion close to the value of the Maersk Line fleet.

We can take the speculation one step further and estimate the size of the market capitilisation of a publicly quoted Maersk Line, based on the currently listed publicly quoted container companies.

VV Chart 3

The table lists the public container companies by size of market cap. To estimate the potential size of the market cap of Maersk Line, we have used the median of the ratios of the above companies’ market cap to fleet values.

On this basis, a publicly-quoted Maersk Line might have a market cap of around $8.5bn. Of course, the potential range of market cap based on the range of ratios is very wide, ranging from a minimum potential market cap from $2.8bn and the maximum was $36bn. However, given Maersk Line’s relative prominence in the market, a reasonable estimate might be in the region of $20bn. This would make the company the largest of any other shipping-orientated company, apart from its parent AP Møller Maersk, and Carnival Cruise.

However, in comparison with other industrial sectors, a market cap of $20bn hardly registers in the rankings. Wal-Mart Stores, a major shipper using container services, has a market cap of $216bn. Analysis of the size of the dominant companies in each industrial sector shows there is domination by four or five companies. Therefore, to be on an equal to these companies in investors’ eyes, Maersk Line would need to have a market cap in the region of $100bn, which implies a fleet with a value of at least $50bn, or five times its current size.

To achieve such a size could not be done through purely organic growth. There would have to be a considerable round of mergers and consolidations (lots of fees for lawyers and bankers), but the end result would be a clear and easily sellable container shipping story for US investors.

Alessandro Pasetti, The Loadstar financial analyst & founder of Hedging Beta, says:

Maersk is very unlikely to consider a radical overhaul of its existing assets portfolio following a few years during which several non-core assets were divested. But Maersk Line continues to absorb a huge amount of capital and investors are wary of a prolonged downturn — these two elements do not bode well with value creation.

It could also be argued that its prospects weigh on the valuation of the entire Maersk group – so, how about a partial spin-off aimed at retaining control of its shipping line division?

Its quarterly results, released on Wednesday, show the level of invested capital in Maersk Line is a whopping $20.1bn, or 43.3% of the group’s total. Its return on invested capital (ROIC), which remains one of the group’s most important metrics, stood at 0.7%, which compares with 2.9% at group level and implies that the unit doesn’t make its cost of capital.

However, assuming it swings back to a normal level of underlying profitability, returns could be much higher, while its prospects as a standalone entity could be more appealing for investors. In this context, consider that in the first quarter of 2015, its ROIC stood at 14.3%, or 40 basis points above the group’s average.

Assuming Maersk Line’s worst days are over, it should be safe to assume that the unit could hit a normalised annual Ebit in the region of $1.5-2bn — its underlying profit was over $700m in the first quarter of 2015.

If we place on the unit an Ebit multiple of between 10x to 12x, the enterprise value (EV) of Maersk Line could range between $15bn and $24bn, while its equity value would sit between $11bn and $20bn, assuming it retains some $4bn of net debt on its books. As a reference, Maerk’s current EV is $39bn, while the shares of Hapag-Lloyd trade on a forward EV/Ebit multiples of 15.6x — so the upside could be greater.

One key element, possibly backing a value-accretive spin-off scenario, is that the value of several other assets – APM Terminals, Maersk Drilling, Maersk Tankers and Svitzer – remain subdued due to cyclicality, but also because they belong to a conglomerate that includes problematic shipping assets, although most of them currently earn much higher returns than Maersk Line and have significantly lower capital requirement, as the table below shows.

Source: AP Moller-Maersk

Source: AP Moller-Maersk

Maersk’s first-quarter performance in shipping was only slightly better than break-even. But it was far better than expected, helped by a 7% volume growth and better utilisation rate. If it hit rock bottom in the fourth quarter, now could be time to think creatively about the ultimate corporate structure of the group.

Admittedly it is quite difficult to see such a split taking place, but it’s a fascinating thought experiment.

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