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d’Amico – a management style emphasizing people

d’Amico – a management style emphasizing people
At a recent Connecticut Maritime Association luncheon in New York, Cesare d’Amico, the ceo of d'Amico Società di Navigazione, a fourth generation shipowner related how the company’s very traditional style had served it well through the cycles.

The company is active in dry cargo, tankers, and in the service side of shipping (agency, crewing and communications and is also the majority owner of d’Amico International Shipping (“DIS”), a listed company active in the product tanker space.

Instead of the usual fare at such lunches- a forecast of freight rates and, supply and demand - he served up a mixture of sound and sensible shipping practice mixed with a management style that emphasizes people.

He related that earlier experimentation with third party crewing managers led to disappointments, with the company making a decision to bring this function in-house.

“Crewing is a very important issue for us,” he said. After mentioning the company’s ship management subsidiary, based in Singapore and running 40 vessels, he focused on the company’s crewing practices, where young candidates take an exam, and, if successful, they are placed in an apprentice programme.

d’Amico’s speech, which was peppered with anecdotes, revealed a unique relationship between officers- who are longtime employees of the company, and may even bring their own sons and daughters into the fold, and company management.

On subjects of ship finance, the view was also very traditional, with the shipowner commenting: “I think that there used to be a real partnership between the shipping owning companies and the banks,” but he acknowledged that, for this model to work, owners must stick to their knitting and avoid speculative investments.

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