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Pioneer Marine places its dry bulk vessels under Baltnav

Pioneer Marine, headed by former J. Lauritzen CEO Torben Janholt, places part of its fleet under commercial management at Baltnav, which employs several former Lauritzen executives.

Article updated on Oct. 9 2017 to reflect that it is a part of the fleet, not the entire fleet, that is placed under management with Baltnav.

Just a month after Torben Janholt took over as CEO of dry bulk carrier Pioneer Marine, he is now overhauling the carrier's operations.

A notice to the stock exchange issued Tuesday by the carrier, listed in Oslo, informs that commercial management of part of Pioneer Marine's fleet will, starting now, be handled by Danish company Baltnav.

Baltnav will take over management of parts of Pioneer Marine's Handysize vessels. The carrier does not inform how much of the management the deal concerns, but says that it will happen with immediate effect. Baltnav already operates a total fleet of 15 Handysizes.

"We look very much forward to this cooperation which will place Pioneer's fleet in alternative markets and thereby expand service to our existing and new customers," says Dimitris Papoulis, Senior VP and General Manager, Pioneer Marine, in the statement.

Former J. Lauritzen execs

By handing over management of part of the fleet to Baltnav, Torben Janholt, former CEO of J. Lauritzen, will be working alongside other former Lauritzen and Torm executives.

Baltnav has existed for 20 years, and the firm's management currently consists of a partnership between Martin Sato, who until the spring of this year served as VP at J. Lauritzen, and Michael Bonderup, who joined Baltnav in 2015 from a position as head of dry bulk at Torm. The two partners own Baltnav together with Chairman Peter Jein.

In addition to its Danish headquarters, Baltnav has offices in Turkey and in Russia.

The company announced in early August that it plans to open an office in Singapore, where two other former Lauritzen execs will work: Rasmus Takechi-Hansen and Anders Johannsen. They previously served as general manager and senior chartering manager, respectively, at J. Lauritzen.

Pull out the lightsaber

Janholt joined Pioneer Marine as CEO on Sept. 4 this year, after serving on the board of directors since 2013, a position he took up after stepping down as chief executive of J. Lauritzen.

In an interview with ShippingWatch after the appointment, Janholt explained that one of his tasks as CEO is to turn Pioneer Marine's deficit around.

"The task ahead for Pioneer is thus to reestablish its profile in the market and to ensure calm among employees. And we would also like to change the color of the bottom line. How do we do this? Well, I'll have to pull out my lightsaber and see what can be done. There was some optimism in the market before hurricane Harvey, but this has slowed again for now. My contribution could perhaps include securing better positions for the vessels," said Janholt.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

Torben Janholt originally turned down the offer

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