Ben Ognibene has partnered with private equity firm American Working Capital to form Concord Maritime, which will commence operations based in Connecticut next month.
Concord will specialise in the commercial management of third party crude tankers, and has been capitalised in order to engage in time charter activity, projects and alternative working capital arrangements for tanker owners.
Bryce May, managing partner of AWC, commented: “We are excited to partner with Ben. His proven leadership abilities and experience building world class commercial management platforms, combined with AWC’s financing expertise and capability, uniquely positions Concord Maritime to offer competitive advantages to both existing and new participants in today’s challenging but dynamic marketplace.”
Ognibene, who resigned as CEO of Heidmar last September after 13 years with the company, commented: “I am looking forward to working with the AWC team. We share a clear understanding, mutual appreciation, and the common goal of delivering superior commercial performance and crucial operational and financial transparency to our partners. We value the reciprocal hard work, patience and determination that is required in developing long-term relationships.”
Speaking exclusively to Splash, Ognibene says Concord already has clients in place and is keen to expand.
“We want to become the premiere third party commercial platform in the crude tanker segments. Our home base will be Connecticut but we will have presence, initially in Europe, and then Singapore,” he said.
Ognibene believes that Concord’s entry comes as the tanker market looks set to improve, declaring it currently near the bottom.
“The crude oil trading paradigm has changed, and, as we all know, the fleet supply needs to contract to adjust. It may be, but of course it depends on ordering, that just as ship supply contracts ton mile demand expands with a resumption of OPEC production. The market will flip and we will be in the exact opposite rate environment that we are presently in,” Ognibene told Splash.