London and Vancouver, 24 October, 2013. The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers has welcomed 200 new members at the annual meeting of its Controlling Council, held this year in Vancouver, Canada.
In being formally elected to membership of the ICS, one of shipping’s oldest professional bodies, the candidates join an organisation of 25 branches, 18 teaching centres and 4,000 individuals which supports the development of shipping professionals globally.
Applications came from 40 countries with the largest growth areas being London, Athens, Mombasa and Dubai, each accounting for 10% or more of the 200 new members.
Across the maritime world, members of the Institute are part of an internationally recognised network of shipping professionals who work towards high professional ethical standards of trust and have proven knowledge, competence and understanding of the broad spectrum of shipping business.
ICS Director Julie Lithgow, says the level of interest in ICS membership demonstrates that in the wake of London International Shipping Week and a wide-ranging debate on London’s commercial future, qualifications speak most loudly when building a maritime career.
“The credibility of any training institution rests not just with the standard of education provided, but with the students who progress through its doors and the ethics they display. To commit to learning new skills and being brave enough to take exams to prove that you have acquired these skills, is doubly commendable when the economic outlook and job market prospects remain uncertain.”
Welcoming the new ICS members to the organisation, Lithgow added that ensuring the shipping industry is fit for the future meant engendering a spirit of curiosity and instilling the importance of professional development and learning over simple networking opportunities.
“Wanting to study more, to learn more, must be a habit we all develop. It will make our industry stronger, and it will help shipping professionals move through our industry to become leaders. Aristotle said ‘excellence is an art won by training and habit’. Our new members are making a very public commitment to seeking out excellence in their careers, and making it a habit”.
The 200 new members include shipping professionals from across the world. Below, three 2013 candidates explain what ICS membership means to them.
“As a shipbroker you don’t have any assets or vessels. You are dependent on your clients’ ability to rely on your integrity, professionalism and ability to get deals done. Having an organisation like the ICS that ensures ethical and professional conduct among its members is invaluable for the industry. The ICS exams are an opportunity to challenge oneself to continue post-graduate professional development. I firmly believe this is important to develop one’s career and character in the business. My employer R.G. Hagland has funded my studies and I would hope that all shipbroking firms see the value of having employees that are members of the ICS.”
Marius W. Rønnevik, Shipbroker, RG Hagland Shipbrokers
“I joined Howard Houlder and Partners in 1976 as part of its graduate scheme in London which of course involved sitting the ICS exams and becoming a member. Three years later, I joined the World Food Programme in Rome and for some years, I was out of touch with ICS. In 2009, I joined the WFP’s Somalia operation based in Nairobi and was surprised and delighted to find an active Chapter of the Institute in East Africa. I am intimately involved with the chartering of the ships for the WFP’s Somali aid operation and as such I felt it was high time that I renewed my membership of the ICS for professional reasons - something which also put me back in touch with my roots in London shipbroking.”
Michael Larkins, Senior Shipping Officer and Port Captain, World Food Programme
“I grew up in a shipping family where ICS qualifications are highly respected, so when I embarked on a maritime career, the ICS exams were a very important part of my training. The well-rounded knowledge I have gained - from sale and purchase to chartering and port agency - has helped me progress in my career. I believe that holding the prestigious title of Member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (MICS) stands me in good stead for my newest commercial role at Jardine Shipping Services.”
Katherine Shakesheff, Group Commercial Specialist, Jardine Shipping Services/ S5 Agency World