A shipping subsidiary of financial powerhouse Hayfin Capital Management is planning ambitious growth.

UK-based Greenheart Management will serve as the in-house shipping desk for Hayfin’s maritime funds, which are headed by Danish financier Andreas Povlsen.

Greenheart managed fleet
  • 3,635-teu feedermax GH Tramontane (built 2010)
  • 3,635-teu feedermax GH Maestro (built 2012)
  • 2,702-teu feeder GH Bora (built 2009)
  • 2,702-teu feeder GH Foehn (built 2008)
  • 2,702-teu feeder GH Curie (built 2008)
  • 50,000-dwt product tanker GH Parks (built 2009)
  • 50,000-dwt product tanker GH Austen (built 2009)
  • 180,000-dwt capesize GH Kahlo (built 2014)
Source: Greenheart Management

Greenheart — named after the strongest wood used in shipbuilding — has already taken charge of eight vessels across the dry, tanker and container segments.

Commercial management will be led by two veterans of the tanker and bulker sectors.

The dry desk is headed by Brian Nixon, who is joining after building the fleet of the Laskaridis group’s bulker operation, Lavinia Bulk.

New opportunities

His counterpart on the tanker desk is industry veteran Michael Friis.

Management of ship operations is overseen by Mike Parker, formerly of Castleton Commodities, while long-time Lloyd’s Register surveyor Nikos Benetis will handle third-party technical management and crewing.

The operation is designed to give Hayfin’s maritime desk closer control of shipping operations.

“We feel for several different ­reasons it makes sense to have an even stronger team in-house,” Povlsen said. “It means you can source additional types of deals — as well as assets — even better.”

Greenheart has in the space of a few weeks taken charge of a fleet of eight vessels on the back of what TradeWinds estimates is a $120m spend by Hayfin.

Recent purchases include the 180,000-dwt capesize GH Kahlo (ex-Simon LD, built 2014), which Hayfin bought in April for a reported $28.5m.

It also picked up a brace of 50,000-dwt MR product tankers, the GH Parks (ex-MR Pat Brown) and GH Austen (ex-MR Aries, both built 2009), in March for a reported $30m en bloc.

The rest of the fleet comprises five containerships of 2,700 teu to 3,600 teu, acquired from the German market between November and March for an estimated total cost of $60m.

Greenheart has begun establishing a relationship with charterers, Nixon said.

He argued that the management system will provide closer control of the fleet, more efficient operations and a better flow of information.

The company will help build on Hayfin’s role as a boutique finance shop, “keeping a small, concise team to build up the business”, he said.

Hayfin head of maritime team funds Andreas Povlsen. Photo: Marine Money

It is also looking to develop “strategic partnerships” with other investors or technical managers, Parker added.

A strong emphasis will be placed on compliance with environmental, social and governance require­ments.

Povlsen said Hayfin will continue to work with other managers, including Celsius Shipping, the Danish company he helped form a decade ago that still manages a portion of the Hayfin fleet.

He said the recent sale of Hayfin’s ultramaxes from the ­Celsius fleet was simply down to the timing.

Nine bulkers of 63,000 dwt with the GH prefix that used to denominate Hayfin ownership have been reported sold this year. They were acquired in 2016 and 2017 “at really great prices”, Povlsen said.

“We just feel things are getting a little bit more heated and are very happy that we were able to exit that investment right now,” he added.

Some of Hayfin’s containerships remain with their German ship managers. Other vessels that are likely to require specialist management are LNG carrier newbuildings.

Technical managers for the Greenheart fleet are Synergy Marine Group, Thomas Schulte, Peter Dohle, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement and Fleet ­Management.

Hayfin also has an investment in United Offshore Support, the company formed in 2018 that runs a fleet of 13 offshore ships in ­Germany.

The company has already become an established player on the maritime scene.

It is estimated to have shipping investments of $2.7bn in 39 debt and equity transactions on 62 ­vessels over the past six years.

Its connection with shipping was further cemented in 2019 through a merger with Breakwater Capital, the alternative finance operation founded by Povlsen.

Prior to its recent bulker sales, Hayfin investments comprised 47 ­vessels: 10 bulkers, nine product tankers, 11 containerships, four 180,000-cbm LNG carriers and 13 anchor-handling tug support units.

It has also been involved in loan finance for containership lessor Global Ship Lease on its boxship purchases.

This story has been amended since publication to reflect that Hayfin Capital Management is not targeting a specific number of ships in its growth plans.