Baltic Chairman Guy Campbell addressed Baltic members and guests at the annual Chairman’s Cocktail Party on 11 May.
“Lord Mayor, Sherriff, my Lords, Minister, Baltic members and Guests. A very warm welcome to you all this evening, to this the 2016 Baltic Chairman’s Cocktail Party.
A warm welcome to this my last cocktail party as your chairman. But not my last cocktail party. Not my last Baltic Exchange Cocktail Party, Not my last Baltic Exchange Chairman’s Cocktail Party.
You see there has been a lot of talk about the Baltic in recent weeks. Some chat, some hearsay, some just concern voiced in the press
So what can I tell you this evening? I can tell you that it is business as usual. Business as usual until such time as it is not. Now, any motive for changing the status quo has to be one of progress, one of growth and one of exciting opportunity for the market as a whole, whether you are members, shareholders, panel members or end-users of our benchmarks.
What else can I tell you this evening? I can tell you that negotiations are ongoing with a number of third parties, but I am not in a position to expand on that right now.
What can I assure you this evening? I can assure you that we will not proceed beyond the negotiation stage and make recommendations without first consulting with all of you – members, shareholders, panel members, end-users.
The Baltic represents a very wide constituency. The Baltic Exchange is both a thriving freight market index business and a thriving community.
Any potential acquirer will need to provide assurances that our 270 year legacy, our leadership position – both in London and around the world – will not be undermined.
They will need to deliver an offer that does not disrupt the successful FFA market which relies on our independent, rigorously compiled indices.
They will need to ensure that YOU, members, are provided with a service that YOU value.
They will need to ensure that the ethos behind “our word our bond” remains at the heart of our Exchange.
Now – Since I last addressed you all last May, we haven’t won a World Cup, but we live in hope for the Euro’s – I mean the football, not Brexit, no comments there tonight. The freight markets have been so tough to so many of us. As the Chairman of your exchange, and manager of a dry bulk owning and operating business, I share the pain so many of us are experiencing. However, the collective strength of this exchange, the adherence to strong business principles and the support that the Baltic can provide through membership services, dispute resolution etc will help see us through these tough times.
The Baltic Exchange is here to support all of you in your business. I feel so proud to have been your servant for the past 2 years and hope to have contributed in some way to its continuing success.
Before I conclude, an opportunity to recognize the sporting and intellectual success of a Law firm rather than a ship broking firm, come on guys. This year’s winner of the David Bradley Cup, an aggregate scoring after a golf, tennis and sailing tournament concluded with a pub quiz! The winners Holman Fenwick Willan – Congratulations Guy Main…..
I must wish Jeremy Penn the very best wishes for his retirement as our CEO later this year, and wish Lambros Varnavides every success as my successor also later this year.
Ladies and gentlemen, raise your glasses and make a toast to: THE BALTIC EXCHANGE.”