Ilias Tsakiris

CEO OF AMERICAN HELLENIC HULL INSURANCE COMPANY

Greece 2019  I  Transport & Shipping  I  Leader

BIOGRAPHY With 25 years of marine insurance experience, He has led the management company and its global network since 2005. He was educated as a Master Mariner, trained as a Claims Manager, and he is holding the positions of Chief Underwriter and Chief Executive Officer of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company.

“WE LAUNCHED THE COMPANY IN 2016 AND TODAY WE ARE THE FASTEST GROWING HULL AND MACHINERY INSURANCE COMPANY IN THE WORLD.”

WITH ONLY THREE YEARS OF EXISTENCE, THE COMPANY HAS ACHIEVED IMPRESSIVE RESULTS. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY’S ACHIEVEMENTS?

 

We have always believed in the potential of the Greek shipping sector. Even though Greek shipowners own 20% of the world’s shipping capacity, Greece and Cyprus didn’t have a single local insurance provider specialized in this sector. In 1994 we established the Hellenic Hull Mutual to offer shipowners insurance to cover hull machinery. The venture has proven to be very successful and in 2015 we started discussions with New York-based mutual insurer American P&I Club, member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, covering third-party liability.

 

The thirteen P&I Clubs which comprise the International Group between them providing marine liability cover, including protection and indemnity, for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage. We entered in a joint venture with the American P&I Club to launch the American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company and run-off Hellenic Hull Mutual. We are operating from scratch combining the best of the American, Greek and Cypriot approaches. The company was an immediate success and has been accepted worldwide. Today, we offer insurance to nearly 2,500 vessels.

 

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE MAJOR REASONS FOR THE SUCCESS OF AMERICAN HULL INSURANCE COMPANY?

 

Our track record in providing hull & machinery cover to shipowners is second to none. The fact that we have based ourselves in Limassol, Cyprus, with an affiliated office in Piraeus, among our other locations, is a great competitive advantage as we can offer a global footprint while having a privileged understanding of the local market. Insurance is a commodity and we differentiate ourselves by a bespoke approach based on trust with our clients. Personally, I started as a seafarer serving on board ships from the age of 17.

We speak exactly the same language as our clients, we have a strong knowledge of shipping and we understand shipowners. We have invested in technology since the beginning of our operations which has allowed us to grow fast while offering the same quality of service. Through a partnership with Microsoft, we are able to respond quickly to all clients’ needs. We always provide quotations within 24 hours, including complex requests covering over 100 vessels at once. Reliability is also very important in our business and American Hellenic Hull is a strong provider with deep market expertise and is offering more promptness to its clients, aiming to settle all claims as quickly as possible.

 

“OUR SCOPE IS TO BECOME AN A-RATED LEADING MARINE UNDERWRITER WHICH WILL ALLOW US TO PROVIDE INSURANCE TO OVER 10,000 VESSELS AND GENERATE INCOME OF MORE THAN €100 MILLION.”

 

HOW CAN INVESTORS PARTICIPATE IN THE FUTURE GROWTH OF THE COMPANY IN GREECE AND INTERNATIONALLY?

 

With our established track record since inception, we are now open to inviting investors to join us on the basis that they share our aspirations and vision. Cyprus and Greece are the centers of our operations and from those centers we are steadily expanding internationally. Investors will have global visibility through our strategically located network of offices in New York, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Houston. They will also benefit from the special relationships that we enjoy with the leading Greek shipowners and our expertise in dealing with clients and with the challenges of the shipping sector. We are the fastest growing hull and machinery insurance company in the world. At the same time we are the first marine insurance company licensed in Cyprus under the requirements of the Solvency II directive. Solvency II is the new framework for EU insurance legislation regulating a single EU insurance market with the overriding aim of enhancing consumer protection. We don’t have any bad debts or loans and the company is financially strong. Our scope is to become an A-rated leading marine underwriter which will help us towards our goals of providing insurance to over 10,000 vessels and generating income of more than €100 million in a few years’ time.

 

GREECE IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT SHIPPING COUNTRIES. HOW CAN THE COUNTRY BECOME A HUB FOR MARINE INSURANCE?

 

I believe it is essential that Greece settles itself as a leader in the maritime industry’s services, advancing at the same time its credibility. We are the only real marine underwriter in the region and I hope we can have more players based locally in the future. Currently, London remains the capital of marine insurance but Greece is the largest shipping country in the world so it would be natural for our country to play an important role in this sector. Greek companies pay billions of dollars in marine premiums outside of Greece and this could be repatriated to our country with positive effects on the economy.