Summer “vacation” is over a little early for veteran shipping analyst Omar Nokta.
Nokta has quietly begun his duties as lead shipping researcher for investment bank Jefferies after taking a few months of gardening leave from his previous post as head of US shipping equities at Clarksons Platou Securities.
Nokta spent his first day in Jefferies’ New York offices last week and has begun contacts with clients in a lead-up to rolling out research coverage across tankers, dry bulk, container ships and gas carriers, finance and shipowner sources told TradeWinds.
Nokta was not immediately available for comment. His hire has not been formally announced by Jefferies, but has been reported by TradeWinds since 5 April.
At that time, previous Jefferies analyst Randy Giveans confirmed his departure after 11 years to head investor relations and business development for LPG owner Navigator Holdings.
Giveans’ departure set in motion a game of musical chairs for the equity analysts.
Nokta moved in from Clarksons Platou, where he had been an investment banker before returning to shipping research in September 2019, in what was seen as a hiring coup for Jefferies.
Clarksons in turn filled Nokta’s post internally, tapping research director Turner Holm, previously a specialist in the offshore oil sector and renewable energy space.
Nokta steps into a busy job as Giveans had among the fullest lists of shipping coverage for any researcher at 29 public listings.
But Clarksons also had a broad roster of shipping coverage, and Nokta has been around public shipowners since starting as a young analyst with the former Dahlman Rose in New York in 2004.
Finance sources said they expect Nokta to roll out coverage sooner rather than later, saying he will likely want to be publicly active for the upcoming earnings-reporting season pertaining to the second quarter.
Nokta is based in Connecticut and is expected to work primarily from Jefferies headquarters in Manhattan. This in itself will be a change as Giveans had been based in Houston, Texas.
Nokta will have been looking for some new associate analysts as the pair assisting Giveans — Christopher Robertson and Chadd Tribo — both left for other opportunities after Giveans’ departure. Robertson will be working with lead analyst Amit Mehrotra at Deutsche Bank.
Robertson effectively had been holding down the fort for Jefferies following Giveans’ resignation, so his unexpected departure forced Jefferies to drop coverage of shipping on 10 June.
Jefferies has been among the investment banks most loyal to the sector, with lead shipping banker Doug Mavrinac quite active in recent merger-and-acquisition, advisory and capital markets deals.