Columbia chief announced as new InterManager President

President and CEO of Columbia Shipmanagement, Mark O’Neil, has been announced as the new President of InterManager, the international trade association for ship and crew manager, succeeding Bjørn Jebsen, who has been its  President since 2016.

The news comes following InterManager’s Annual General Meeting, where its members are encouraged to vote in ballot format for the Association’s next President.

Mr O’Neil  is a prominent figure within the maritime industry. Having earned a Law Degree at Southampton University and subsequent First Class from Guildford Law School, he has worked for 20 years as a maritime lawyer in London with leading international law firms: he assumed his role as Columbia Shipmanagement CEO at the beginning of 2017.

Speaking of the appointment, InterManager’s Secretary-General, Capt Kuba Szymanski said: “I am delighted to see Mark O’Neil elected as the President of InterManager.

“Mark brings with him a wealth of ship management experience. He has clearly laid out his plans for InterManager, which have the full support of our Executive Committee. I am looking forward to working with him and wish him all the best.”

As part of his manifesto for President of InterManager, Mr O’Neil  is keen on creating a single industry standard through his ONE Approach, which centres around the belief of the strength of the collective voice when the maritime industry speaks to governmental and international institutions about maritime issues.

Speaking of his election, he said: “I’m delighted to have been elected as President of InterManager. I have always championed and shared InterManager’s values, and I’m looking forward to working closely with the team and implementing the ONE Approach.

“The ONE Approach will call for a far greater interaction between InterManager and international institutions, governments affecting the maritime sector, operators, managers, and crew, with InterManager assuming the role of the voice for shipping.”

His election also leads to enhancing the recognition of the value of membership (and increasing membership) of InterManager and ensuring the active nature of such membership: he also hopes to lead the Association’s PR efforts to recognise the importance and value of quality third party management, and introduce an industry standard for quality ship management.

“I would like to thank Bjørn for a fruitful four years, which saw our Association go from strength to strength,” said Capt Szymanski. “During his tenure, InterManager continued to play a very important role in the International Maritime Organization representing ship and crew managers.

“We have delivered the iconic Martha Project, a study into seafarer fatigue in January 2017, and we expanded our Adopt a Ship project from its original Cyprus location to cover the Philippines, India, and Poland.

“In 2018, our Enclosed Space Death project resulted in the participation of 5,000 seafarers, which led to InterManager being appointed Chairmanship of the Enclosed Space subcommittee in HEIG (Human Element Industry Group).

“More recently in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we initiated the idea of pooling resources for crew changes, and the industry well received our Maritime Champions Club, where ship management companies shared their COVID crew changes.

“I wish Bjørn every success in his future endeavours.”