According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), women represent only 2% of the world's 1.2 million seafarers. Only 1% are sailors. Fewer are maritime finance professionals. In Malta, as elsewhere, men and women begin their careers in financial services at parity, but women are underrepresented in the C-suite.
This is not so at St Julian's Maritime Finance, a licensed financial services provider chaired by Tony Mahoney, former Deputy CEO of HSBC Europe. The company has been promoting Malta as an international maritime financial centre and has women in key positions both within the Board as well as the executive management.
According to Lena Göthberg, a Swedish shipping expert, it tends to be young women who are bringing new knowledge into the maritime industry. This is most certainly the case with the women at St Julian's Maritime Finance, director Angela Attard Fenech and CFO and director Ylenia Keegan.
They are interested in autonomous ships, connectivity, blockchain, 3D printing, and other innovations. These are subjects that exactly chime in with the fourth industrial revolution, in which disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things, robotics, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are changing the way we live and work.
A propos, CFO Ylenia Keegan outlines how the financing of the world's-first solar yacht innovation project, Silent-Yachts, was undertaken by the firm: "As our chair recently commented, we believe that this financing round to bring a solar-powered vessel to a new owner sets the tone for our future.”
Board member Angela Attard Fenech, has salt in her blood, with longtime commercial involvement in marinas and yachting. Angela is a Chartered Accountant, formerly with a 'Big 4' accounting firm, and leads on Corporate Governance as well as interpreting the company's financial data.
Fenech says that since financial leases are a derivative, they need careful handling and attributes a lot of her success to determination and perseverance.
St Julian's Maritime Finance offers asset-backed financing and finance leasing programs to customers who choose new or well-maintained boats with a value of between €1 million and €10 million. Malta has emerged as the preferred flag for owners of sizable yachts throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.
Malta’s competitive cost structure has helped the island to compete, and strong corporate structures put yacht owners in a very strong position to enjoy their wealth while saving considerably on VAT and other costs associated with yacht ownership. For owners seeking the comfort and cost benefits of dealing with yachting and finance experts who understand innovation, St Julian's Maritime Finance provides a safe harbour.
Mahoney puts the situation for the St. Julian's Maritime Finance Board, a Board incidentally representing some of the biggest blue-chip companies in the Mediterranean: "Diversity in our Board and senior executive management team is what drives us forward and gives us access to the best inputs, discussions and decisions. We are proud to carry the flag for diversity in this industry and to demonstrate on a day-by-day basis the difference this makes to financial and service performance.”
Fellow Board member Angela Attard Fenech explains: "While a lot of my time in our Board is focused on higher level strategy, we must keep a careful eye on risk. To do that effectively, I must be in the office and in contact with people."
Licensed financial services provider St Julian's Maritime Finance has championed diversity by ensuring a balanced Board and executive management team. CFO & Director Ylenia Keegan (left) and Director Angela Attard Fenech (right).
St Julian's Maritime Finance is regulated by the MFSA under the Financial Institutions Act (Cap. 376 of The Laws of Malta) and authorised to carry out services of financial leasing, bearing MFSA Authorisation ID: SJMF-FILI-16904.