Denmark Business Report 2017

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Discovery Reports

Maersk Broker fuses heritage, modern shipbroking and local focus in weathering challenges

Since it began as an independent Danish shipbroking operation in 1914, Maersk Broker has expanded with 17 offices and more than 250 brokers and specialists in major shipping centres around the world

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 3:23pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 3:23pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

Even the worst storm in the shipping industry cannot knock the wind out of Maersk Broker’s sails.

Amid overcapacity and – in some segments – historically low charter and freight rates, the shipping industry is faced with unprecedented challenges reportedly worse than the 2008 financial crisis.

Like a sturdy ship caught in a mighty squall, however, Maersk Broker is confident that more than a century’s expertise, worldwide presence, dedication to customers and creative spirit in problem-solving will not only keep it afloat – but help it become even stronger when the tides subside.

“Shipping is cyclical. Recognising this reality and being attuned to the industry’s nuances are fundamental in surviving the first 100 years in the business,” says CEO Anders Hald. “But to achieve beyond longevity and flourish into an industry leader as Maersk Broker has, one has to evolve with all the changes in the world. Today, that means succeeding first in local markets in order to prosper globally.”

Since it began as an independent Danish shipbroking operation in 1914, Maersk Broker has expanded with 17 offices and more than 250 brokers and specialists in major shipping centres around the world. Its business areas now cover virtually all segments, including container vessels to bulk carriers, tankers, offshore and specialised tonnage.

In response to modern shipbroking demands, Maersk Broker has also launched specialised services including valuations and recycling. It has also applied its shipping expertise to financial services through its independent consultancy branch: Maersk Broker Advisory, which offers corporate finance, fund management, maritime asset management and research services. Devoted to the maritime industry, these additional services leverage Maersk Broker’s in-depth knowledge of markets across the globe.

“Especially at this time when values are low, the global shipping business holds great potential for investors,” Hald says. “Risks, however, are equally substantial due to regional differences, frequent realignments and general volatility – making sound, well-founded advice and accurate data imperative for rewarding investments. Our advisory services actively assist clients with innovative, tailored financial solutions in line with their investment profile and risk appetite.”

Maersk Broker believes working closely with clients locally allows it to better understand their needs and preferences, while simultaneously sharing its own views, analysis and interpretation of global trends and developments. It identifies Asia among the strongest industry drivers in recent years, and sees the region becoming even more important to its increasingly diversified businesses.

“Having the name and history, we feel that it is our obligation to ensure the business opportunities in Asia and the business requirements from the clients in the region are being marketed in the best and most professional manner,” Hald says. “Our people throughout our Asian operations are fully on par with the needs of the local clients because it is vital that our organisation reflects what requirements and ambitions are governing for each individual client.”

Maersk Broker has 10 offices in Asia, including four in Greater China. It began in Tokyo in 1963 and continues to invest in local expertise. The success brought about by a strong local focus, where the integration of local brokers enables knowledge and culture sharing with colleagues both across and outside Asia. This, in turn, allows Maersk Broker to pass on such valuable intelligence to global clients who want an Asian or Chinese perspective for their businesses.

“The key to success lies in the integration, respect and understanding of the local markets in the context of building bridges and closing the gaps on a global scale,” Hald says. “Ultimately, we want to be that partner who builds the bridges and – founded in the conventional broking services – creates tangible value as a true partner. That is where we want to be and where we see ourselves in Asia in the years to come.”