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Greece’s second-generation owners discuss the ‘intimidating’ pressure of taking the helm 

Greek shipowning is in flux as many children of famous founders step up to the helm. 

At a specially convened panel today at Capital Link’s Posdonia event, five second generation shipowners discussed the pressures of taking over and their vision for the future of Greek shipping. 

Ioanna Procopiou, who heads up dry bulk concern Prominence Maritime, admitted there was pressure, mindful she said of carrying someone else’s baby.

“The next generation feels the pressure that you have to earn your position, it can be intimidating,” she told delegates, adding that it was important first generation owners give their offspring space to grow, to allow them to fail and to learn from their mistakes. 

Agreeing that it can indeed be intimidating, Ioannis Martinos, the CEO of the Signal Group, said it was vital to go out into the world and lead from the front. 

Suzanna Laskaridis, managing director at Laskaridis Shipping, discussed the importance of embracing new technologies while at the same time respecting the traditional values that had formed the core of Greek shipping over previous generations.

Alex Hadjipateras, executive vice president at Dorian LPG, touched upon these traditions, stressing the need to continue to maintain extremely close relationships with crews, something that had become all the more apparent during the covid pandemic. 

John Dragnis, CEO of Goldenport Group, argued that it was important for the new generation of owners to be open enough to work with start-ups. 

“There will be a few lemons,” he conceded, but that was all part of the learning process. 

This was a point of view that also chimed with Dorian’s Hadjipateras who said new technology could serve as a bridge. 

“We have to look at open innovation as a model,” he said, pointing to impending tough environmental targets, which was something that a company as large as Maersk might be able to handle, he said, but for smaller companies it was necessary increasingly to work together. 

Turning to ESG, Laskaridis argued that maritime was in many ways better prepared for this as there are already so many regulations in place. 

Looking ahead, Signal’s Martinos urged the Greek government to keep shipping’s stable tax framework in place, noting too how shipping’s wider ecosystem has developed a great deal in recent years with Greek brokers, for instance, now able to take on their larger international peers. 

In summing up how he saw leadership, Goldenport’s Dragnis said it was important to get involved, understand what you want to achieve, and clearly communicate that to staff.

Splash will be bringing readers reports from across many Posidonia events all week. 

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. “EXTREMELY” close relationships with crews… That is best system. Asians will not understand this!!!

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