It was certainly night to remember when V.Ships celebrated its 30th anniversary in the ballroom of the incredibly stylish new Monaco Yacht Club close to its office in the city-state last week.
That same evening ruler Prince Albert II’s wife Charlene gave birth in hospital to royal twins: Jacques, next in line to the throne of the Principality, and his sister Gabriella.
A riot of joyous celebration suddenly broke out all around the quayside club, a contemporary version of the ocean liner-inspired art deco palaces of the 1930s. The royal palace overlooking the harbor was ablaze with sweeping laser lights as a royal 42-gun salute – i.e. 2 x 21 – sounded in honour of the twins’ arrival, and all the superyachts and other vessels moored in the world’s most glamorous bay joined in on their ship’s horns.
V.Group CEO Clive Richardson began his address to the assembled 150 dinner guests with a champagne toast to the newborns, before launching into a brief reflection on how the world had changed in the last three decades.
V.Ships too, he reflected, having grown from handling just a few ships for Vlasov Group and a couple of other principals at its outset to becoming both the “world’s largest shipmanager” – with some 600 ships in full technical management and 250 in crew management – and also the “largest independent provider of outsourced marine services.”
Part-owned by management and part by Canadian institutional investors with deep pockets, the group was now on a firm footing and looked forward to the next 30 years and beyond brimming with confidence, he concluded… a bit like the Principality in fact.
By Bob Jaques, Seatrade.
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