Singapore’s First Ship Lease Trust (FSL Trust) is on the hunt for a new chief financial officer.
Present incumbent Markus Wenker is set to leave the listed tanker owner by the end of 2022, the company said in a regulatory filing.
The Efstathios Topouzoglou-backed company said Wenker is currently serving notice and will be with the trustee-manager until 30 November 2022.
The 37-year-old German is set to take on a similar CFO role at the Singapore operation of Malaysian offshore company Yinson Production Offshore.
“The board takes this opportunity to thank Mr Wenker for his personal dedication, strong leadership and invaluable contributions to the trustee-manager and FSL Trust during his tenure and wishes him every success for his future,” FSL Trust said.
FSL Trust said its board has initiated the process to identify a replacement for Wenker and said the new CFO will be announced in “due course when the appointment is made”.
Wenker joined the Singapore-listed company in May 2020 taking over from then CFO Alan Mitchell who was retiring.
He has close to 19 years of banking experience, including more than 16 in ship finance.
Prior to joining FSL Trust he was previously head of ship finance at Greek lender Hellenic Bank, where he set up the ship finance unit and led its maritime expansion beginning in April 2016.
FSL Trust’s current vessel portfolio comprises nine tankers of various sizes. Of these, eight vessels are chartered to UK shipowner James Fisher on fixed-rate period charters, whilst the other vessel is employed in the spot market.
FSL Trust recently reported a first-half net profit of $2.2m against $900,000 a year ago as results were boosted by the improvement in tanker markets and the sale of two vessels earlier this year.
The recent vessel sales included its last crude tanker — the 115,000-dwt FSL Hong Kong (built 2007) and the 20,000-dwt chemical tanker FSL London (built 2006).
TradeWinds recently reported that FSL Trust was looking to expand its portfolio beyond tankers to include renewable and energy-related offshore assets.
The company has said it is challenging to develop a competitive edge in the volatile and cyclical business of owning vessels due to market fragmentation and fierce competition.
FSL Trust believes that an expansion of the scope of investments allowed under its trust deed may present “significant investment opportunities” for the future growth and sustainability of the business.
Assets under consideration include things such as floating solar photovoltaic systems which are said to be more industrial in nature and are also in line with the changing environmental regulations and the global energy transition.