Wallem Group yesterday announced that Frank Coles would take the helm from the end of October 2018. The announcement comes four months after the incumbent, Simon Doughty’s unexpected decision to step down after seven years in the top post.
Mr Coles arrives with a broad range of experience across the maritime sector. After qualifying as a Master Mariner he turned to the study of maritime law, subsequently working at Richards Butler in London. This was followed by a stint at what was Stephenson Harwood and Lo, in Hong Kong. Remaining in Hong Kong, Mr Coles hit the maritime coalface when he joined Hong Kong’s minor bulk specialist, Pacific Basin in 1995, as operations director.
In more recent years Mr Coles seemed to sense the industry’s nascent adoption of technology. He joined Rydex when Pacific Basin invested in the company, which was introducing specialist email software for maritime communications.
Mr Coles continued his career in the maritime communications field holding roles at Sperry Marine, and Globe Wireless LLC, before joining Inmarsat in 2011
In 2015 Mr Coles joined Transas as chief executive and member of the Board of Directors and was appointed president of Transas Group in May 2018, after Wärtsilä acquired Transas.
Wallem chairman Nigel Hill commented, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express our gratitude to Simon for his years of service to Wallem and for his excellent leadership of the Group over the past seven years. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future. We are delighted that Frank has agreed to join us. The shipping services sector is grappling with a wide range of challenges and opportunities at present. We are confident that we have found the right person to ensure that Wallem stays in the forefront of delivering first class maritime solutions to its customers, as it has done throughout its long history.”
Simon Doughty replied, “Wallem has a strong management team and outstanding employees who are committed to providing the best possible customer experience. I am pleased that Frank has agreed to lead the company going forward. His vast experience will complement and strengthen that of the existing Wallem team and enable them to meet the future needs of the maritime services business. I would like to thank the valued clients and colleagues, who have made my 14 years with Wallem an exciting and unforgettable journey.”
Frank Coles said, “The opportunity to lead and help grow a prestigious and diversified company like Wallem was something I could not pass up. With the increased industry focus on efficiency, safety and the environment, providing quality shipping services, crews and technical support is going to be critical. Wallem understands the needs and expectations of owners and clients and is well placed to be a leader in the future of maritime operations support.”