The Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance organises 9th City of London Biennial and celebrates 35th Anniversary

Event held at the International Maritime Organisation

Global business leaders, diplomats, policy-makers and senior academics gathered at the International Maritime Organisation from 6th – 8th November for the Ninth City of London Biennial Meeting and the 35th Anniversary celebration of the Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance.

Organised by the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance at Cass Business School and sponsored by the Maria Tsakos Foundation, the Biennial focused on the theme of ‘This World is Changing’.

The Biennial welcomed over three days more than 1000 delegates and 90 distinguished speakers most of whom are graduates of the Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance. Sessions included: World Economy; Banking and Finance; Investments; Oil and Other Forms of Energy; LNG Trade and Shipping; Environment and Regulations; Technology and Innovation; Dry Market; Tanker Market; Banking and Other Forms of Shipping Finance; Capital Markets and Private Equity.

Costas Th Grammenos CBE DSc, Biennial Founder and Founding Chairman of the eponymous Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, opened proceedings by reflecting on the Centre’s very successful work in research, teaching and learning over 35 years. He said:

“The establishment of our Centre happened here in the City of London, a great place, at City, University of London and its Cass Business School in co-operation with my colleagues, our students, our graduates and our friends.

“You cannot achieve such things without highly qualified and dedicated staff; in addition, colleagues from our finance and management faculty and visiting lecturers. All our graduates are simply our students who are our high flyers, they look ahead and they look high, and as we say here, he or she is “one of us”. But ultimately our students are our most precious product.

“Everything we achieved was based on new ideas, hard work, very hard work, dedication, friendship and trust. The School and the University were (and are) able to approve the new ideas and nurture them. We have applied all the way the principle of meritocracy - αξιοκρατία - a principle that is an axiom in our school and the City of London.”

The keynote address was given by Dr Kostas Karamanlis, former Prime Minister of Greece, who said:

“It is a privilege to speak at the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, the lifelong achievement of Professor Grammenos. Research and teaching on the inter-relationship between shipping, trade and finance was a very critical novelty turning the Centre a pioneer in the field. Under his inspired leadership, the Centre grew to become a leading institution globally. For Greece, the world’s first shipping power, this is a great service and we all thank you for that.”

In his speech he referred to the global challenges ahead and in particular: International Security, Trade War, Migration, Climate Change and Social Inequalities.

At the end he emphasised:

“It is urgent to reassess the prospects, start paying more attention to the needs of our co-citizens, talk frankly and set our priorities. The global challenges ahead may test us all. They have at least one thing in common. No country, government, let alone political party, can address them by itself. High time to sit down together and focus on the real issues, learn to discuss and above all to work together.”

Professor Sir Paul Curran, President, City, University of London said:

“The Biennial Meeting provides a platform for dialogue between leading figures from the City of London and other capital cities and has become the major event of its kind in the calendar of the City of London.”

Delegates heard opening remarks from Sir Efthimios E Mitropoulos, Secretary-General Emeritus, International Maritime Organisation; Chairman, Maria Tsakos Foundation who referred to the inspiring and compassionate activities of the Maria Tsakos Foundation.

Six graduates and an Honorary Visiting Professor kicked off the conference and conveyed their personal message based on the 35 years: 'Look Back, Look Forward, Look High': Dr Nikolas P Tsakos, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tsakos Energy Navigation; Chairman, INTERTANKO (2014-2018) (MSc STF 1985); Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Founder and Chairman, easyGroup; Founder, easyJet; Founder and President, Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (MSc STF 1987); Professor Michael N Tamvakis, Professor of Commodity Economics and Finance, Cass Business School, City, University of London (MSc STF 1988); Mr Kristian Andersson, Chief Executive Officer, SEB Ukraine (MSc STF 1992); Dr Sadan Kaptanoglu, Chief Executive Officer, Kaptanoglu Shipping; President, BIMCO (MSc STF 1996); Mr Erik Helberg, Chief Executive Officer, Clarksons Platou Securities (MSc STF 2000); Professor Martin Stopford, Non-Executive President, Clarkson Research; Honorary Visiting Professor, Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, Cass Business School, City, University of London.

The Biennial was honoured that His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Great Britain, delivered a blessing to the Biennial.

Professor Paolo Volpin, Interim Dean, Cass Business School spoke on the activities of the Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance and its impact internally and internationally. He also unveiled a portrait of Professor Grammenos, by a leading Russian painter Alan Kalmanov, which was gift from the 2005 Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance alumni to Cass Business School.

View the full programme and speakers here. Find out more about the Centre here.

If you are interested in this topic, take a look at our MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance

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