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Sabrina Chao taps Pareto’s David Palmer as new Wah Kwong CEO

Sabrina Chao has finally found a replacement CEO 18 months after Tim Huxley quit the post at Wah Kwong, one of the most famous names in Hong Kong shipping.

David Palmer will join the family run line in May, after 12 years in charge of Pareto Securities’ operations in Singapore.

Aged 60 this is likely to be Palmer’s final posting after a career holding senior positions at many well known shipping brands including Heidenreich Marine, Swire Pacific Offshore and International Product Carriers. Palmer’s four-year stint at IMC, the Tsao controlled line, will serve him especially well for the challenges ahead. Both IMC and Wah Kwong are family run and were founding members of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association before IMC jumped ship to Singapore 16 years ago.

“I think he’d be good at it,” said one source who knows Palmer well on his Wah Kwong appointment. “He’s as tough as nails and a shrewd operator.”

When contacted by Splash, Palmer refused to confirm the appointment, writing by email: “This is premature and I am by no means there yet.”

Wah Kwong management has yet to reply to questions sent by Splash earlier.

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.
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