Family connections and the Hong Kong shipping sector run deep at what will be London's latest listed shipping company.
Bulker owner Taylor Maritime Investments (TMI) is being spun off from private Hong Kong shipowner Taylor Maritime, which was founded by TMI chief executive Edward Buttery in 2014.
Buttery joined the supramax trading desk at UK shipbroker Clarksons in 2005 after attending Oxford University.
He went on to be a chartering manager at Hong Kong bulker owner Pacific Basin between 2006 and 2008.
Pacific Basin was formed by his father, famed deal-maker Chris Buttery, who is a TMI director and chairs Taylor Maritime.
Bulkers and gas
The elder Buttery was also instrumental in the founding of LPG carrier company Epic Gas with Paul Over, through a combination with Pantheon in 2012.
"Dad and Paul Over are obviously heavily involved, looking over my shoulder," Edward Buttery told TradeWinds.
"They both call me about 17 times a day. I've got these two stalwarts of the handysize industry checking everything I do."
Buttery, who is married to actor Punlapa (Paula) Taylor, later served as deputy chief operating officer of bulker operator Asia Maritime Pacific from 2008 to 2010. He then joined the shipping team at Nordea Bank, lending senior debt to global shipping companies with a presence in Asia, before forming Taylor Maritime.
Smartest person in the room
His sister, Camilla Pierrepont, is chief strategy officer at TMI, which was formed in March in Guernsey.
She joined Taylor Maritime in 2018 as group strategy director, and has previously worked for Epic Gas and Microsoft.
Buttery said Pierrepont ran mergers and acquisitions at Epic Gas for four years and "is the smartest person in the room as far as I'm concerned".
The Buttery family has brought in Greek shipowner Nicholas Lykiardopulo as TMI chairman.
An experienced shipping veteran, Lykiardopulo has advised on the completion of a total of $3bn in purchases, disposals and financing of shipping assets at his family shipping business Neda Maritime.
He is still a director of BW Epic Kosan, the successor to Epic Gas, which is how the Butterys came to know him.
"Nick is incredibly detailed and very intelligent," said Buttery.
Long phone call
"I had him on the phone for two-and-a-half hours yesterday, he was making sure that everything looks the way it should, so we're privileged and lucky to have someone so talented."
Another experienced shipping campaigner is TMI director Helen Tveitan de Jong, who is chairman and chief executive at Carisbrooke Shipping Holdings, a specialist owner and operator of 34 mini-bulk and project cargoships in the UK.
Tveitan de Jong has worked in the shipping industry since 1992 and started her career in ship finance with DVB Nedship Bank, for whom she started the London office in 1996.
She was finance director for Eastern Bulk between 2010 and 2017 and has served as a director for Ardmore Shipping, the New York-listed tanker owner, since 2018.
"They are two very high-quality shipping people," said Buttery.
The board also includes experienced finance and auditing executives.
"Dad and I are going to sit on the board as the in-house connection between the company and the board," the CEO added.
The private Taylor Maritime commercial management company will retain legacy ships, with a new chief executive being sought. Edward Buttery will work exclusively for TMI.
He explained the remaining vessels are owned by extremely private family offices.
"They would rather stay private. They have emotional attachments to the ships," he added.
Market only going one way
But the listed and private investors are aligned, Buttery said. "They only see the market going one way — no one is exiting in a big way," he added.
And Buttery said there will be a very clear wall between the two companies, with no management fees being charged.
TMI's chief operating officer is Alexander Slee, formerly of Citigroup and another Pacific Basin old boy.
He has also worked for Vanship Holdings and Univan Ship Management.
The chief financial officer is Yam Lay Tan, who joined Taylor Maritime in 2019. She was a general manager of finance at Epic Gas for six years.