John Fredriksen’s public LNG and LPG shipping companies are continuing to reduce salary expenses by combining senior management.

Oslo-listed VLGC specialist Avance Gas has brought in experienced executive Marius Foss as chief commercial officer, a role he will continue to hold at sister LNG carrier operation Flex LNG.

Avance Gas is run by executive chairman Oystein Kalleklev, who is also Flex’s chief executive.

Foss will replace former Trafigura executive Ben Martin, who was also CCO at Flex LNG until March this year.

Kalleklev told a conference call with analysts the company “didn’t have to look very far” for the new recruit.

“Marius Foss, whom I have enjoyed working with in Flex during the last four years, has agreed to also take on the role as CCO in Avance Gas,” he added.

“Marius has a wealth of shipping experience after his maritime education, which also involved a couple of years at sea. He has worked basically 10 years with LPG and petchem, 10 years in VLCCs and around 10 years in LNG,” the executive chairman added.

Kalleklev said the three sectors share many similarities.

Referring to working two jobs, he added: “We find taking on Avance Gas an exciting endeavour and by doing so we can just cut cost compared to having duplicate management.”

Deep shipping experience

Kalleklev joined Avance Gas in March after CEO Kristian Sorensen quit after a year in the role.

Martin stepped down in July, but agreed to be available for the company for up to three months to ensure continuity.

Kalleklev told TradeWinds: “Ben’s been sitting on by himself in Geneva with the rest of us sitting in Oslo, so he decided to resign.”

Martin is believed to be lining up a role with shipbroker Clarksons in Geneva in the LNG sector.

Foss was head of shipping at Golar LNG for six years, chartering manager of Fredriksen’s Frontline for nearly nine, and an LPG/petrochemicals broker at Inge Stensland for 10.

He holds a diploma in shipping from the London School of Foreign Trade, as well as a degree as a merchant navy deck officer from Stord/Haugesund University College.

The Avance Gas board has granted Kalleklev and Foss 375,000 and 250,000 stock options in Avance Gas respectively.

They have a five-year term at an exercise price of NOK 52.50 ($5.24), against a price of NOK 47.50 in Oslo on Thursday.