Women in high places
My very first editor gave me a sound piece of advice when I started out. “Always write about what you know,” he told me.
Despite this, I am moved to write once again on the subject of women. Although the new head of IMO is now confirmed to be a man (I don’t mean to imply that there was any doubt about his gender), the good news is that a woman has, for the first time, been appointed head of the IMF.
She is charged with putting in place a more open and transparent procedure. We should expect great things, because women are much better than men at openness and transparency. As the new IMF boss herself says, “Leman Brothers would never have collapsed if it had been Leman Sisters”. She also has to restore the credibility of the IMF following the resignation of her predecessor – a man. Good luck with that.
The only other candidate for the IMF job – a man – said in the run-up to the election that he was like a football team starting a match five goals down. The result was a foregone conclusion. Women are better than men at most things, including - in England, at least - football.
It was interesting to see that the manager of North Korea’s women’s football team claimed that the side lost a World Cup match to the United States this week because several of the players were struck by lightning a month ago.
The manager of the North Korea football team is a man. Men are better at making excuses than women.
Labels: football, IMF, IMO, Leman Brothers, women in shipping
Confidence dips to two-year low as concern mounts over rising fuel costs and overtonnaging
The latest Shipping confidence survey from leading accountant and shipping adviser, Moore Stephens, reveals that overall confidence levels in the shipping industry dropped for the fourth successive quarter in the three months ended May 2011, to reach their lowest level for two years.
The threat posed by overtonnaging was the single most dominant theme running throughout the responses to the survey, which also revealed a high level of concern about continuing rises in the cost of marine fuels.
In May 2011, the average confidence level expressed by respondents in the markets in which they operate was 5.6 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), compared to 5.8 in the previous survey in February 2011. This is the lowest figure recorded since May 2009, when confidence stood at 5.5.
Confidence fell most noticeably on the part of charterers (down from 5.8 to 5.4), followed by managers, down from 6.0 to 5.8, and brokers (5.2 to 5.1). Geographically, confidence was lowest in Europe, falling from 5.6 to 5.5, but Asia recorded a bigger drop in confidence this time (down from 6.0 to 5.7)
The mood among respondents was noticeably downbeat. “The key word for most companies right now is ‘survival’,” noted one respondent, while another pointed out, “Increasingly, companies would rather shut down operations than risk losing even more money in the current climate.”
A number of respondents expected the current slump in confidence to persist for some time. “The shipping market will be severely depressed for the next three years,” said one, with another predicting that the markets would not pick up “for the next two years”. Neither could respondents see any realistic prospect of spending their way out of the current downturn. “Financing new projects is becoming harder and harder because of the lack of confidence shown by the banking sector,” said one, with another pointing out, “Owners are running out of cash at a time when the markets remain poor, and are likely to weaken further. We can expect to see a rise in bankruptcies and arrests as the ability of the banks to restructure becomes more constrained”.
Not all respondents took such a pessimistic view. One thought that all maritime sectors would start to pick up “in the last quarter of 2011”, while elsewhere it was noted that “shipping freight rates will revive worldwide and regionally, starting in 2012”. But the overall mood was rather less optimistic, with particular concern focusing on overtonnaging. “The severe oversupply of tonnage in every sector is biting hard,” said one respondent, “and supply will remain ahead of demand for at least a couple of years”. Another remarked, “Too much yard capacity will result in an adverse oversupply of tonnage”.
Some respondents concluded that the only viable answer to the oversupply issue was demolition. “Given the current almost stagnant economic conditions in much of the developed world, and the oversupply of tonnage,” said one, “the main hope for any upward movement is the demolition market.”
The survey revealed a high level of concern about rising fuel prices. “Increases in the price of diesel have a very negative influence on our trades,” noted one respondent, “and if they continue the consequences will be catastrophic”. Another emphasised, “Freight rates are low and fuel costs are high, so confidence is low”.
Expectations on the part of respondents of making a major investment or significant development over the next twelve months fell from 5.7 to 5.6. Owners’ expectations held at 6.0 but, in all other categories of respondent, expectations were down on last time – in the case of managers from 5.7 to 5.5, and on the part of charterers from 6.1 to 6.0. The gap between owners and charterers has closed. In May 2008, when the survey was launched, charterers’ expectations stood at just 4.8, compared to the 6.3 recorded by owners. Now, both stand at 6.0.
For the first time in the life of the survey, finance costs were displaced overall as one of the top three factors which respondents expected to influence performance most significantly over the next twelve months. Demand trends and competition remained the top two factors, as they have been since the survey was launched, but this time fuel costs made their debut in the top three, pushing finance costs down to fourth spot. The number of respondents overall who identified fuel costs as a significant performance-influencing factor rose from 11% to 16%. For both owners and charterers, fuel costs figured in the top three and, in the case of charterers, occupied first place. Finance costs, meanwhile, dropped overall from 16% to 14% as a significant performance-affecting factor among respondents overall. Geographically, the most significant movements came in Europe and North America, where demand trends were cited by 27% and 30% of respondents respectively, as opposed to 23% and 24% last time.
Expectations of an increase in finance costs remained unchanged from the previous survey, at 59% overall, but this is nevertheless 13 percentage points up on the 46% recorded in May 2009. While the number of owners anticipating an increase in finance costs rose from 59% to 62%, the reverse was true for managers and charterers, with expectations there falling from 59% to 56% and from 58% to 55% respectively. This time, just 9% of charterers expected finance costs to fall, compared to 13% in the previous survey and contrasting sharply with the 25% of like mind two years ago.
Geographically speaking, the number of respondents in Europe expecting their finance costs to increase remained unchanged at 58%, and in Asia the numbers fell from 64% to 62%. In North America, however, there was a marked fall from 64% to 42%, which may say more about the dollar than anything else.
So far as the markets are concerned, the numbers of respondents expecting rates in the tanker sector to increase over the next twelve months was down overall from 46% to 44%. The expectations of owners and charterers contrasted significantly in this respect. The number of owners anticipating higher tanker rates rose to 50% from 43% last time, while for charterers there was a 31 percentage-point fall, from 61% to 30%. The number of mangers expecting higher tanker rates, meanwhile, also fell, from 50% to 45%.
In the dry bulk sector, the number of those expecting higher rates fell from 38% to 37%. The number of owners anticipating higher dry bulk rates fell from 43% to 41%, while the number of charterers of like mind fell from 31% to 18%. The number of charterers expecting lower dry bulk rates, meanwhile, rose from 26% to 40%, while the number of owners with similar expectations dropped from 26% to 17%. For managers, the expectation of higher dry bulk rates rose from 39% to 42%. Geographically, expectations of higher dry bulk rates were down in Europe (from 36% to 31%) and up in Asia (from 42% to 45%).
In the container ship market, meanwhile, all the indicators were down. Overall, 42% of respondents, as opposed to 49% in February 2011, expected container ship rates to go up in the next twelve months. In the case of owners, the number of respondents expecting an increase was down from 56% to 40%, and charterers were thinking along the same lines (down to 29% from 40% last time). Managers, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 47%. Geographically, expectations of higher box ship rates fell in Asia (from 47% to 41%) and in Europe (51% to 44%), while in North America the numbers were down from 40% to 32%.
Moore Stephens shipping partner, Richard Greiner, says, “It is disappointing to find that confidence in the shipping sector has dropped to a two-year low. The dip in confidence can be attributed to both external factors and to industry concerns.
“Externally, we are seeing a reaction to political unrest in various parts of the world, and to a number of natural disasters. The full impact takes a little time to feed through into our findings. The rise in fuel prices was a major factor in influencing the thoughts of our respondents. Depending on which reports you read, and where in the world you bunker your ships, fuel prices have gone up by around 50% over recent months. It will take a lot of slow steaming – if indeed that is the answer – to address this particular issue.
“Once again, it was the threat to profitability posed by overtonnaging which most frequently exercised the minds of those who responded to the survey. Only time will tell how this will play out, but it was noticeable that a number of respondents referred to the important role that shipbreaking could play over the next couple of years. This is the ultimate extreme solution to the problem but it will never address the true volume of tonnage overhang, especially since demolition prices in Asia appear to be on the slide, to the disappointment of owners hoping to cash in on healthy prices for their old ships.
“Unsurprisingly, expectations of rate increases in the three main tonnage categories covered by the survey are down. And the gap between owners’ and charterers’ aspirations is, in some cases, widening, particularly in the tanker sector where 50% of owners anticipate an increase in rates over the next twelve months, compared to just 30% of charterers. This gap of twenty percentage points contrasts sharply with the situation just six months ago, when the expectations of owners and charterers more or less coincided. This should make for some interesting negotiations over the coming months and, presumably, an increase in work for the broking community.
“One thing that owners and charterers do currently agree on, however, is the likelihood of their making a major investment over the next twelve months. Two years ago, there was big gap between the two, with owners much more confident than charterers. Now the gap has closed completely, and both owners and charterers currently rate the likelihood of spending some money on a new venture at six out of ten.
“On reflection, that is not unduly negative. Now may be a good time to buy for those who can put the finance in place to fund a viable venture. We will see what our next survey brings. Three months is a long time in shipping.”
The Moore Stephens Shipping Confidence Survey includes responses from key players worldwide in the international shipping industry to a targeted, web-based survey by the Moore Stephens Shipping Industry Group. Responses were received from owners, charterers, brokers, advisers, managers and others.
Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 638 offices of independent member firms in 97 countries, employing 20,588 people and generating revenues in 2010 of $2.151 billion. http://www.moorestephens.com
For more information:
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191
Labels: fuel costs, Moore Stephens, over-tonnaging, shipping confidence
Women in shipping
THE IMO Council is currently getting ready to vote for its next secretary-general. We are told that there has never been such a large list of contenders, nor a list with such diversity. Yet the list is not sufficiently large or diverse to include a woman candidate.
When IMO was looking for a successor to Bill O’Neil, the candidates included a woman who was known within IMO as “the lady who climbs the stairs”. It would be wrong to suppose that, when she reached the top, all she found was a glass ceiling. But it is disappointing to discover that the six candidates for IMO’s top job are all men.
In shipping, as elsewhere, people should be judged on their merits, irrespective of gender. WISTA is a tribute to the determination of women to get a fair deal in shipping, but it is a condemnation of shipping that there is a need for it to exist. The idea of a MISTA, for example, is unthinkable.
Labels: IMO elections, WISTA, women in shipping
“Don’t you just hate the Americanization of words?” This question was posed in the Maritime Advocate recently. It was a joke but, sadly, too few people in the UK will get it.
Things are getting out of hand. And it is not just American spelling that is threatening to take over. American customs are insidiously working their way into everyday life in the UK. In recent years, for example, we have seen the introduction of school proms, to which children in dinner-dress are chauffeur-driven in stretch limousines to swish venues in order to celebrate long into the night the achievement of having sat an examination which - incidentally, and through no fault of their own - it is impossible to fail, even if they don’t turn up to take it.
Most recently, we have seen Sweet Sixteen birthday parties migrate from the US to the UK, with people spending thousands on birthday celebrations for sixteen-year-olds. Please be sensible. Bear in mind that eighteenth birthdays are already the subject of monstrously over-the-top celebrations, which are repeated at the age of 21. So we now have three milestone birthdays for people who may not be old enough to shave their legs. There was a time, not so long ago, when 21 was the only memorable birthday for people in the UK. On our coming of age, we used to get £21 to spend, if we were lucky – then nothing else until we were 60.
Apart from trying to be American, it is also apparently the thing to do to over-celebrate everything. Why is it now necessary, for instance, for a couple who live in Bolton to spend millions of pounds on getting married in Mauritius, followed by a beach reception? In our day it was the local church followed by bridge rolls and two half-bottles of Blue Nun in the village hall. It never did us any harm.
Faux celebrations, like faux celebrities, are in danger of ruining our lives.
Labels: Americanisation, faux celebrity, Sweet Sixteen
Bureau Veritas classed fleets tops 80 m gt
The Bureau Veritas classed fleet has grown strongly during 2011 and in June passed 80 m gt. Today 9,663 sea-going vessels and 1,853 inland navigation ships are classed by Bureau Veritas.
The growth has been led by the delivery of 320 new vessels and the transfer in of 198vessels in service since the beginning of the year.
Today the fleet is well balanced in tonnage with 37 per cent bulk carriers, 20 per cent tankers, 8 per cent gas carriers, 5 per cent passenger vessels, 14 per cent containerships and 16 per cent specialised and offshore vessels.
Significant new additions to the BV class fleet in the last month include two capesize bulk carriers built in China for Greek shipowner Centrofin Management Inc and for American shipowner Foremost Group and two 75,200 dwt bulk carriers Good Luck and Good Wish built in China for the Chinese shipowner Pacific Wealth Shipping Co. Ltd.
These vessels joined the BV class fleet on the day it passed the 80 m gt mark. On the same day Greek shipmanager Quintana Ship Management transferred the 82,200 dwt bulk carrier Q Jake, delivered in March 2011, to BV class.
Bureau Veritas is a leading international service provider, dedicated to quality assurance, environmental, health, and safety, (QEHS) management services across a wide range of economic activities, including marine, industry and facilities, government services, and consumer products.
By far the largest classification and certification society in the world, Bureau Veritas has over 48,000 employees and 900 offices in over 140 countries throughout the world.
http://www.bureauveritas.comfor corporate information, http://www.veritas.comfor marine information.
For more information:
+33 1 55 24 71 98
Labels: bulk carriers, Bureau Veritas, fleet size 80 m gt, ship classification
OSD to design Boskalis-SMIT cable laying vessel
OSD-IMT, the UK arm of IJmuiden-based Offshore Ship Designers, has been chosen by Samsung and Boskalis-SMIT Engineering to develop the basic design, detailed design and production drawings for a 99 m cable laying vessel.
Neil Patterson, managing director of OSD-IMT, says, “This project illustrates perfectly the strengths of the OSD group. We can bring strong offshore engineering experience in the UK to bear on the basic design, and work with our Shanghai office to develop the yard drawings. It is a unique new vessel and we will carry out the model testing programme, noise and vibration analysis and impact and damaged stability analysis in addition to developing the design.”
The vessel combines a large, obstruction free main deck with ample accommodation facilities, allowing for multiple future configuration possibilities. In the current cable laying configuration, the deck has a cable loading capacity of 5,000 tonnes.
Under a separate contract OSD-IMT has been tasked by Dales Engineering Ltd, Aberdeen to design and develop the upgrade conversion production drawings for the Farstad-owned UT 755 multi-role 67 m PSV FAR SCOTIA. The new design will provide upgraded existing and new additional accommodation, ROV equipment and associated seating, new A-frame and associated winches/seating, new deck cranes and associated column/stiffening, new workboat and associated davit and seating.
Offshore Ship Designers Group (OSD) is a global one-stop resource delivering naval architecture and marine engineering skills to the shipping and offshore energy industries. It draws on an experienced global workforce to provide high quality feasibility studies, conceptual and detailed designs for tugs and offshore support vessels of all types. OSD is based in IJmuiden, The Netherlands, and has offices in Montrose, York, Appledore, Shanghai and Singapore. www.offshoreshipdesigners.com
For a PDF graphic of the Cable Layer concept see attachment or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Labels: cable laying, offshore energy, ship design
Graig to manage Chinese-owned vessel
Cardiff-based Graig Ship Management Limited has taken delivery of the 79,600 dwt bulk-carrier King Peace, for which it is providing full technical management and crewing on behalf of Shanghai-based Zhong An Shipping. The vessel was built at China’s Wu Jia Zui Shipyard under the supervision of Graig China Ltd.
Ian Morgan, ceo of Graig Ship Management, says, “This is an important new contract, because it is the first for us as a UK ship manager to manage a Chinese-owned, Chinese-built and Chinese-crewed vessel. It makes a lot of sense, we know the ship inside out because we helped build it, we know bulk carriers and we know China. China is a massive market for maritime expertise and we see this as a first step to a growing business becoming a local ship manager for Chinese owners.”
Managing ships for Chinese owners is a logical step for Graig, which began business in China in 1995, building ships there for itself, then building up expertise in newbuilding supervision and Chinese yard capabilities to help other Western owners to get the best out of China. The next step was to help Chinese yards with new designs, such as the Diamond bulk carriers, and to supervise newbuildings for Chinese owners.
Twenty-two of Graig’s current newbuilding supervision contracts are for Chinese owners, a series of eighteen 76,000 dwt bulkers being built at Jiangsu Rongsheng for Minsheng Financial Leasing Co and four 45,000 dwt bulkers for Shanghai Xiang An Electric Power Shipping Co being built at Chengxi Shipyard. Says Morgan, “We hope to build on this expertise in China to help more Chinese owners to build good ships and manage them efficiently in the global marketplace.”
The Graig Group is a broad-based international shipowning and shipping services group delivering technical and commercial ship management, newbuilding supervision, lay-up services, ship design, ship owning and ship finance to global clients who appreciate personal service.
Graig has been building, managing and owning ships since 1919. Today it provides technical management and crewing for a mixed fleet of vessels on behalf of a number of owners. It has supervised over 120 newbuildings for itself and major shipowners. It provides technical consultancy services to a major European bank with a portfolio of 90 vessels. It develops innovative designs such as the Diamond bulk carriers and it can source yards and finance and provide newbuilding supervision and follow up with in service management. Based in the UK, Graig has offices in Cardiff, London, Shanghai and Singapore.
You can use the download button to get a hi res photo of the King Peace from:http://picasaweb.google.com/Merlinclients/Graig
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Labels: bulk carriers, chinese crew, Graig China, ship management, shipbuilding
RINA publishes gas fuel notation
GENOA-based verification, certification and ship classification group RINA has published a new notation GAS FUELLED SHIPS which establishes requirements for the use of liquefied or compressed natural gas (LNG or CNG) on board ship as an alternative to traditional fuels. It is designed to give the industry a regulatory tool to ensure that the arrangement and installation on board of machinery using this type of fuel are such as to provide a level of integrity, from the point of view of safety and reliability, equivalent to that of a conventional installation.
RINA notes that the use of natural gas as a fuel provides the advantages of a total reduction in sulphur oxide emissions, a considerable reduction in nitric oxide emissions, a twenty per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and competitive prices at current costs and estimates for the near future.
The new notation was approved at the annual meeting of RINA’s Technical Committee, which provides technical oversight of RINA’s rules for ship classification, held today in the RINA offices in Rome, alongside the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the founding of RINA. The meeting was chaired by Umberto Masucci, Chairman of the Ship and Aircraft Brokers and Agents Fund (FAMA) and Vice Chairman of the Federation of the Sea.
Other major new rules discussed included requirements for permanently moored floating units for natural gas liquefaction (FLNG) and new Rules for the classification of units operating in the Caspian Sea and in other similar areas.
The FLNG rules cover floating units for the liquefaction of methane gas, its storage and subsequent offloading onto gas carriers for final transport to the area of destination, generally known as FLNG (Floating LNG) and also FPSO LNG (Floating Production Storage Offshore LNG). This is one of the most interesting technical and commercial sectors in the field of offshore hydrocarbon exploitation. The flexibility which these units offer in terms of positioning makes them particularly attractive for use where it is necessary to eliminate environmental impact. They remove the need for a large gas liquefaction plant ashore, and they can be relocated to different geographical areas, provided the environmental conditions are similar.
In the light of this interest and to be able to offer the industry a valid regulatory tool, RINA has developed ad-hoc rules for FLNG units, which are contained in the new Chapter 5 of Part E of the “Rules for the classification of Mobile Offshore Units and MODU”. The new RINA rules cover aspects linked to hull structure and plant, related to both ship and processes. With reference to the latter aspect, RINA has developed specific criteria, based on risk analysis, to be able to deal adequately with the safety aspects associated with use, in an offshore marine environment, of plant and machinery used in oil refineries on land.
The challenges offered by this new use can be met on the basis of the analysis and verification principles of the RINA Rules. They not only guarantee plant safety but also, at the request of the interested parties, their efficiency through specific certification of the new technology used, using Technology Qualification Certification.
New rules for the Caspian Sea are required because the ever increasing demand for oil has compelled oil companies to look for new fields in areas until now unexplored due to their severe environmental conditions.
One of these is the Caspian Sea characterised by:
- environmental temperatures varying between -35°C and +45°C,
- an ice thickness up to 0.6 metres,
- shallow waters,
- oil fields containing toxic gases (in particular H2S),
- “zero discharge” environmental policies.
Bearing in mind the special requirements and uniqueness of the area, RINA has developed rules for the classification of offshore units operating in the Caspian Sea and in similar areas.
Some of these units have special characteristics and non-traditional tasks. For example, IBEEV (Ice Breaking Emergency Evacuation Vessels) are designed to operate throughout the year including in winter ice to safely evacuate personnel operating on offshore platforms in the case of an emergency.
For the latter, RINA has developed the new service notation: IBEEV which takes into account the main characteristics of these vessels:
- complete isolation from the outside (the air needed for the people on board as well as for the engines is provided by special pressure vessels),
- ability to sail through fire (pool fire),
- resistance to over pressure due to an explosion,
- ability to break ice in shallow waters (traditional ice-breakers cannot operate in shallow waters).
The RINA Technical Committee consists of:
Avv. Umberto Masucci, Chairman of the Ship and Aircraft Brokers and Agents Fund (FAMA) and National Advisor to CONFCOMMERCIO
Prof. Ing. Antonio CAMPANILE, Professor of Offshore Structures at the University of Napoli Federico II
Dr. Aldo COSENTINO, Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)
Dr.ssa Annamaria CRUCIANI, Division 4 Internal Maritime Safety, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
Ing. Giuseppe DEMOFONTI, Senior Scientist in Mechanical Metallurgy – Materials Development Centre
Ing. Filippo GRASSIA, Senior Scientist of the Research Area of the CNR
Ing. Domenico IMPAGLIAZZO, Division 4 Internal Maritime Safety, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
Ing. Giorgio LA VALLE, CEO MES (Marine Engineering Services)
Ing. Roberto MARTINOLI, CEO of Grandi Navi Veloci
Ing. Luigi MATARAZZO, Vice CEO FINCANTIERI
CV Bruno SPANGHERO, Captain, Head of the Ship Design Branch, Department of research, design, means, materials, General Staff of Italian Navy
RINA is one of the oldest classification societies and certification companies in the world. Established in Genoa in 1861 to serve the marine industry, today it spans the globe as a multinational and multi-faceted company, sharing its knowledge and experience through a wide range of services which help industries and the community to improve their businesses and quality of life. RINA’s services cover the environment, energy, transportation, logistics, safety, quality and social responsibility.www.rina.org
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Head of Media Relations RINA
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Indian Registry appointed as Recognised Organisation by Liberia
THE Liberian Registry has accorded the status of Recognised Organisation to the classification society IRS (Indian Register of Shipping), to act on behalf of vessels operating under the flag of Liberia.
Captain J C Anand, Chairman of IRS, says, “This recognition by Liberia is a matter of great significance and prestige to IRS, coming as it does from one of the world’s leading flag states, which has an enviable reputation for quality and service and an outstanding safety record. The Liberian Registry and IRS look forward to working together so that IRS can discharge its delegated authority, in accordance with the registry’s established high standards.”
Scott Bergeron, Chief Operating Officer of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based managers of the Liberian Registry, says, “The Liberian Registry adopts a proactive approach to the service which it provides to the record numbers of ships which fly the Liberian flag. This involves using our own highly trained staff to carry out audits, inspections and certification and, where appropriate, delegating authority for those activities to Recognised Organisations which we know and trust. Subsequent to IRS’s admission to IACS as a full member, we conducted our own audit of IRS’s systems and procedures and are satisfied with their competence and capability to provide statutory services in accordance with Liberia’s robust standards.
“India is a global economic power which generates increasing demand for shipping. It is a very important market for the Liberian Registry. As we increase our market share in India, we have great confidence in IRS’s ability to work alongside us to help maintain the quality of our fleet to the highest standards and beyond.”
The Indian Register of Shipping is an internationally recognised ship classification society founded in India in 1975. It provides professionally competent, completely independent and highly efficient third-party technical inspection and certification services for all types of ships, marine craft and structures. In 2010 it was recognised as a full member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS).
The Liberian Registry is one of the world’s largest and most active shipping registers, with a long-established track record of combining the highest standards for vessels and crews with the highest standards of responsive service to owners. It has recently surpassed all-time tonnage records. www.liscr.com
Moore Stephens says insurance industry must take data governance seriously
Leading accountant and insurance industry adviser Moore Stephens has questioned whether data governance is being accorded the attention it deserves by the insurance industry.
Recent FSA Arrow visits have highlighted a number of frequently recurring problems in insurance firms relating to risk management, governance, data and reporting. These include poor risk control culture, poor reporting, ineffective governance, inadequate allocation of control staff, lack of integration across controls and risks, and poor formalisation of roles and accountability.
Moore Stephens Director Charles Portsmouth says, “Data is the lifeblood of any organisation. It feeds everything a company does. It informs the overall decision-making process and is a vital part of risk management. The proper use and application of complete and accurate data is a central part of the overall Solvency II regime. But is data governance being accorded the importance it merits in the insurance industry?”
Writing in the latest issue of the firm’s Insured Interest newsletter, Portsmouth says, “The FSA requires firms to have a proper data policy in place, and it calls for proper board engagement. Data, and the risks associated with it, should form an integral part of a board’s established risk reporting, and not merely constitute a moveable item on the board agenda influenced by technology-related developments within the firm. Improved management of data to feed reporting systems, and greater board engagement, are vital ingredients for better information relating to management, risk and general business conduct.
“Simply writing a data policy is not enough, in itself. Proper data management is essential, and the data must be accurate, complete and appropriate. Data policies, meanwhile, should facilitate the identification and control of the risks associated with data. Poor information can lead to poor data quality, and vice versa. What is needed is a robust data model, linked to core risk factors in order to produce meaningful management and regulatory information.”
Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 638 offices of independent member firms in 97 countries, employing 20,588 people and generating revenues in 2010 of $2.15 billion. www.moorestephens.co.uk
For more information:
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191
Labels: data governance, FSA, Insurance, Moore Stephens, Solvency II
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