Bank of America Securities managing director Ken Hoexter is not the most high-profile shipping analyst out there, but he's always been around the top group of maritime researchers as determined annually by voting in Institutional Investor magazine.

This is the year Hoexter made it out of the bridesmaid category, ascending to the top of the Institutional Investor results that were distributed this week.

The Bank of America veteran dethroned Evercore ISI analyst Jonathan Chappell, who had seized the title for the first time last year after himself falling just short in previous voting.

Chappell dropped to third this year, finishing behind Deutsche Bank analyst Amit Mehrotra. Jefferies' Randy Giveans and Citi's Christian Wetherbee rounded out the top five.

Hoexter had finished fourth after Chappell, Mehrotra and Giveans in 2020.

Ken Hoexter is a shipping and transport analyst for Bank of America Securities. Photo: Bank of America

It was close at the top, as less than 1% point of the voting separated Hoexter and Chappell. The winner notched a 13.79% market share, edging Mehrotra at 13.27% and Chappell at 12.93%.

Mehrotra also finished in fifth place in the transportation category this year.

Hoexter has long been more than just a shipping analyst. He was hired by Bank of America in January 2002 as senior airfreight, surface transportation and shipping analyst, with much of his research coming in those other transport sectors.

Institutional Investor has ranked him an "All-Star Analyst" some 20 times, with the lion's share of those rankings coming in the "transportation" category.

Hoexter's broader coverage is no longer so rare, as former shipping purists like Chappell and Mehrotra also have broken off into other sectors like trucking and rail.

The shipping award was first severed from the general transportation category in 2015, and it started a reign of five straight years at the top for Michael Webber, who was then working for Wells Fargo Securities.

But the Webber dynasty ended in 2020 after the analyst left Wells Fargo to form his own boutique firm, Webber Research & Advisory.

The departure seemed to cost Webber votes that come working for a larger bank, as he dropped to fifth in last year's rankings.

The trend continued this year as Webber finished eighth with 3.7% of the vote.

Well known Stifel analyst Ben Nolan ranked sixth in this year's voting with a 5.89% share.