Shipowners Forum Hong Kong

Harnessing Hong Kong’s super-connector effect?


14:00 – 18:00


14:00 Registration and Welcome Refreshments

Moderator Julian Bray, Editor in Chief

14:15 Welcome
Joseph Lai JP
Transport and Housing (Transport)
Permanent Secretary

Sabrina Chao, Chairman, Hong Kong Shipowners Association
& Executive Chairman, Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Limited

14:30 Session 1

It’s all about China – freight, money, regulation, shipbuilding, influence. How are the markets today and what is the outlook for the next six months to two years. The panel will explore demand drivers, volatility, new building prices, yard capacity, finance and sustainable growth, capital markets and current options to fund expansion. Drilling down, asset values and the case for consolidation will be discussed in the context of recovering markets and a window on profitable asset play. How much importance do banks place on owners showing evidence of their commitment to embracing new regulations?

Bill Guo, Executive Director, ICBC Leasing
Bjørn Højgaard, Chief Executive Officer, Anglo-Eastern Univan Group
Jonathan Silver, Partner, Head of Shipping North Asia, Norton Rose Fulbright
Frans van de Bospoort, Managing Director and Head of Shipping Eastern Hemisphere, DVB Bank
Christoforos Bisbikos, Partner, Watson Farley & Williams
Nigel Anton, Global Head Shipping Finance, Standard Chartered Bank

15:30 Break

15:45 Session 2

For shipping and related services, the implications of a data-driven economy are profound. The focus of this panel is the risk and reward associated with the application of digital technology in real-world shipping company scenarios. Do we see a future where owners, brokers and charterers fix ships over a number of shared electronic platforms enabling them to agree on key contract terms using a shared database? Is there an advantage to being a first mover or early adopter of new ship technology? Who is leading the charge and who will the winners be? Will the increased use of digital technology increase transparency as to the real price of freight?

Martin Stopford, President, Clarkson Research
Jacques Goudchaux, Chief Information Officer, BRS Group
Richard Hext, Chairman, Vanmar Shipping
Sean Riley, Chief Operating Officer, Veson Nautical

16:45 Break

17:00 Session 3

The Hong Kong Shipowners Forum - a session to discuss the issues raised in the previous two sessions, plus; what is the future of Asian supply chains if manufacturing automation negates the need for offshored labour, is BRI a ‘gigantic white elephant’ or global trade enabler, will better data mean better supply-side discipline, who will pay for the next generation of ships if Euro banks are exiting ship finance, with many carriers in financial distress is further consolidation on the cards, will improved freight rates see Banks return to shipping and speculative orders being placed?

Mats Berglund, CEO, Pacific Basin
Masaki Fukumori, Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Uni-Asia Group
Mark Young, CEO, Asia Maritime Pacific
Thomas Soderberg, Managing Director, Tribini Captial
Jack Hsu, Managing Director, Oak Maritime HK
Tim Huxley, Managing Director, Mandarin Shipping

18:00 Drinks Reception hosted by The Marshall Islands





  • Joseph Lai JP

    Joseph Lai JP

    Permant Secretary Transport and Housing (Transport)

    Joseph Lai has served in various bureaux and departments, including the former Home Affairs Branch, the former Trade and Industry Branch, the Lands Department, the former Finance Branch, the former City and New Territories Administration, the former Economic Services Branch, the former Constitutional Affairs Branch, and the former Education and Manpower Bureau. He was Deputy Director-General of Trade and Industry from May 2001 to March 2003, Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs from March 2003 to December 2006, Director-General of Trade and Industry from January 2007 to August 2009 and Commissioner for Transport from August 2009 to May 2012.

  • Sabrina Chao

    Sabrina Chao


    Hong Kong Shipowners Association

    Sabrina Chao is Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association and is the Executive Chairman of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings.

  • Dr Martin Stopford

    Dr Martin Stopford


    Clarkson Research

    Martin Stopford is a graduate of Oxford University and has a PhD in International Economics from London University. During his 45 years in the Maritime Industry he has held positions as Director of Business Development at British Shipbuilders; Global Shipping Economist with Chase Manhattan Bank N.A.; Chief Executive of Lloyds Maritime Information Services and an executive director of Clarksons PLC.

    Dr Stopford is non-executive President of Clarkson Research Services Limited (CRSL) and Director of MarEcon Ltd, an e-learning business. He is visiting Professor at Cass Business School, Dalian Maritime University and Newcastle University and has an Honorary Doctorate from Solent University. His publications include “Maritime Economics” 3rd Ed, the widely used shipping text book (2009) and many papers on shipping economics and ship finance.

    Awards: Lloyds List lifetime achievement award 2010; Seatrade Global Shipping Personality of the Year 2013; Onassis Prize for Shipping 2015; Capital Link Shipping Leadership Award 2016.

  • Bjørn Højgaard

    Bjørn Højgaard

    Chief Executive Officer

    Anglo-Eastern Univan Group

  • Bill Guo

    Bill Guo

    Executive Director

    ICBC Leasing

  • Frans van de Bospoort

    Frans van de Bospoort

    MD & Head of Shipping Eastern Hemisphere

    DVB Bank

  • Christoforos Bisbikos

    Christoforos Bisbikos


    Watson Farley & Williams

    Christoforos Bisbikos is a Partner at Watson Farley & Williams London working out of the firm’s Hong Kong office (registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant (England & Wales) with the HK law society).

    His practice focuses on all types of cross-border asset financings (including ECA financings), project financings, loan restructurings, work-outs and enforcement. Christoforos has been acting for most leading banks in the shipping sector as well as for a number of shipping companies. He has also been engaged in other various shipping projects such as acquisition of vessel fleets, including by way of acquisition of a business as a going concern, and lease/trust arrangements for tankers being transferred to Mexican flag.

    Christoforos obtained his LLB from the University of Essex in 1998. The following year he obtained his LLM in International Trade Law from the same university. He returned to Greece to complete his training in a Greek office so as to qualify as a Greek lawyer and in 2001 he completed the LPC at the College of Law in Guildford. The following year he continued his training in Greece and in 2005 he qualified as a Greek Attorney at Law and as a Solicitor in England and Wales. He then joined Stephenson Harwood in Piraeus as an associate, followed by Norton Rose in 2006 and WFW in 2007.

  • Nigel Anton

    Nigel Anton

    Global Head Shipping Finance

    Standard Chartered Bank

  • Richard Hext

    Richard Hext


    Vanmar Shipping

    Richard Hext is Chairman of Vanmar Shipping. He is also a non-executive director of The China Navigation Co. and of Anglo Eastern Univan and a member of the Board of Governors and Hon. Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). He was Chairman of Univan Ship Management and a Director of Vanship from 2010-15; Chief Executive of UCLan from 2014-15; Chief Executive of Pacific Basin Shipping from 2005-9; Chief Executive of V Ships Marine Services from 2003-4; Chief Executive of Levelseas from 2000-3; Director of John Swire and Sons (Hong Kong) from 1999-2000 and Managing Director of The China Navigation Co. from 1996-2000. He holds an MA in History and Economics from Oxford University and is a member of the Alumni Advisory Board for Hong Kong of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

  • Jonathan Silver

    Jonathan Silver


    Norton Rose Fulbright

    Jonathan Silver is a banking and finance lawyer based in Hong Kong. He is the Head of Shipping for the North Asia region.

    Jonathan’s areas of focus include shipping (advising owners and banks on shipbuilding contracts, performance guarantees, refund guarantees and general shipping-related disputes), asset and lease-based financing (yellow goods, shipping and aviation) and project financing (shipping, export credit, structured trade and commodity finance, pre-export finance, borrowing-base finance, trade finance, oil and gas).

    Jonathan read Mandarin with subsidiary Cantonese at the School of Oriental and African Studies (S.O.A.S.), London University and law at City University, London (Diploma in Law) and City University of Hong Kong (Postgraduate Certificate in Laws).

    He speaks fluent Mandarin and conversational Cantonese.

  • Jacques Goudchaux

    Jacques Goudchaux

    Chief Information Officer

    BRS Group

  • Sean Riley

    Sean Riley

    Chief Operating Officer

    Veson Nautical

    Sean joined Veson Nautical in 2012 and serves as Veson Nautical’s COO.

    At Veson, Sean is responsible for driving and managing company operations including Sales, Marketing, Professional Services, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Veson’s regional offices. Sean previously worked at PowerAdvocate, where he was responsible for sales, product delivery, and customer support for several software products. He also served as a strategy consultant with The Parthenon Group, a global consulting firm, and he began his career in the Venture Capital/Private Equity industry.

    Sean earned his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and graduated cum laude with a BA from Amherst College.

  • Mats Berglund

    Mats Berglund


    Pacific Basin

  • Masaki Fukumori

    Masaki Fukumori

    Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer

    Uni-Asia Group

  • Mark Young

    Mark Young


    Asia Maritime Pacific

  • Thomas Söderberg

    Thomas Söderberg

    Managing Director

    Tribini Capital

  • Jack Hsu

    Jack Hsu

    Managing Director

    Oak Maritime HK

  • Tim Huxley

    Tim Huxley

    Managing Director

    Mandarin Shipping

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21 November 2017


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A limited number of rooms are available at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong at discounted rates for Forum participants.  Please email for further information.

How to register

Nicola Tippetts

Conference Manager

+44 20 7645 2313

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Gregory Whitehead

Head of Portfolio Sales

+ 44 20 7645 2311

For speaking opportunities

Jon Chaplin


+44 20 7645 2312