Its share is 50% of the Maran brand, which owns the ships of the world’s largest private (that is, not listed on the stock exchange or state) shipping empire.
When her father, Yiannis Aggelikousis, decided in 2018 to use the Maran name across three different divisions of the company: tankers, gas carriers and dry cargo ships, it was a move that testified to the role he had intended for his only daughter Maria.
But it was far from obvious to Maria Angelikoussi that she would follow in the footsteps of her father, the greatest Greek shipowner. In fact, she had to give up her medical career in the UK to join her father’s company and take on the business at a very difficult time following the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and the global financial crisis.
Today, following the death of a leading Greek shipowner, 39-year-old Maria Angelikoussi has taken over the family business at a time when the industry is once again at a crossroads. Moving towards future low pollution standards requires shipowners to make high-risk decisions. And Yiannis Aggelikusi was known for his ability to read the markets and make the right decisions.
After all, he was the first Greek shipowner to enter the Nasdaq stock market in 1989. After raising funds to expand from bulk carriers to tankers and then gas carriers, he pulled the company off the stock exchange in 2001, years before stock raising became the norm.
“I have come to stay”
As Maria Angelikoussi herself said in 2018, her father again thought about resolving the issue of listing on the stock exchange. “Before I took the lead, I could naturally have anxiety about the lack of continuity,” she admitted in a letter circulated at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018 to sort out the situation once and for all. “Listing on the stock exchange is no longer in sight. I came to stay,” the heiress wrote at the time.
Her father made it clear that Maria Angelicoussi is the future of the company. The departure of Angelicoussis Shipping Group (ASG) CEOs Yannis Placidaki and Stavros Hatzigrigoris, as well as the emergence of new insiders such as Maran Gas CEO Despina Mustaka, clearly indicated that the company is entering a new era of energy transformation.
In this new age, Aggelikoussi is following the advice given to her by her father: stay in what she knows and not spend too much. “My dad says I probably like the details too much,” she admitted.
Does she have experience?
Some in Piraeus are wondering if he has experience running a company of this size with about 150 ships, especially since he started shipping at an advanced age. “The fleet is too big to handle,” one competitor told TradeWinds, explaining that it was a difficult task even for a loyal and charismatic businessman like Yiannis Aggelikousis.
“She has no experience of her father – everyone knows it. Unfortunately, she is an only child, which means that all the weight falls on her shoulders.“ In order to do her job efficiently, it may be necessary to reduce the size of the company, ”- explained one shipowner.
But in shipping circles, many believe that she will succeed. “The company is very strong and there is no reason to believe that it has no future,” says Panos Laskaridis. He adds that it will take great setbacks and irrational initiatives to destroy a company as strong as that created by Yiannis Aggelikusis. “I don’t believe that Mary is a person who will make such mistakes,” he explains.
“The daughter of Giannis is charismatic,” says Anastasios Panagiannopoulos, one of Angelicusis’s few old friends. “He has great potential and good partners, they are very well organized. I don’t think he will have the slightest difficulty. “