University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2017

Abstract

The importance of the maritime industry for the global trade system is pronounced, 90% of the global trade is made through sea routes (International Chamber of Shipping, 2017). Although it is widely known that the most cost effective mean of transport is the sea trade, an extremely volatile industry like this needs to continuously evaluate and readjust its strategic decisions. Τhe financial crisis of 2008 has redefined the industry creating not only significant drawbacks but also, in some cases, unpresented opportunities. This huge change in the global maritime sector is illustrated by the fact that 206.6m GT of shipping capacity has been sold for recycling, when the previous years this number barely rises 63.1m GT (Clarksons, 2017). The decision of western banks to retreat from ship finance (e.g. Commertzbank and Bank of Ireland) or to significantly reduce their exposure (e.g. HSH, RBS, Natixis, Lloyds Bank) created turbulence in the global shipping finance sector, allowing mostly Asian banks like China Development Bank or Nordea and China Everbright Bank to grow in a fast pace (Petrofin, 2015). The boards of directors are responsible for the strategy creation and the management of the companies. During the recent financial crisis many shipping companies struggled and some of them went bankrupt, not only because the industry was heavily affected, but also due to the effects of poor management decisions. Only last year, Hanjin Shipping, one of the top ten container carriers in terms of capacity, went bankrupt being unable to meet its financial obligations. Therefore, the research focal point turns to the board members of the maritime companies.
This study examines the board of directors of Greek maritime firms, listed in international bursaries, for the period between 2001 and 2015, with monthly observations for a total number of 39 companies. The Organisational attributes of the companies (size and age), along with the years that the companies are listed in stock exchange markets are used as predictors for the corporate board attributes (board size, CEO duality, existence of Non-Executive Directors, Gender, Board members age, tenure of the board members). Starting by analysing the relevant literature, using secondary data from the companies, this study, among other, found that although the Greek maritime companies comply with all the Corporate Governance practices, further investigation is needed to explore their ownership practices. Finally, the predictor variables can only affect male and female representation on the board, the age of the board members and the tenures of the board members.

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