Bermuda Shipping & Maritime Association (BSMA) Chair Paul Scope, left, with incoming BSMA CEO Francis Richardson
Francis C. Richardson, a marine engineer with 25 years’ of service to the Bermuda government, will join the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority (BSMA) as Chief Executive Officer.
He assumes the role effective April 9, and will also serve on the new authority’s Board of Directors.
“Mr Richardson has all the credentials for the position and we’re delighted to have hired a Bermudian after an extensive search, both locally and overseas,” said BSMA Chair Paul Scope. “Succession-planning was one of our top priorities, and we have now fulfilled this important goal.”
BSMA was launched in 2016 as a semi-autonomous unit to replace the government Department of Maritime Administration. It currently employs a team of 15 professionals in London and Bermuda.
Richardson has a long and effective track record as a senior manager and director within the Bermuda government’s civil service. During a 25-year career, he has held the posts of Dockyard Superintendent, Director of Marine and Ports, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport, and, currently, the Ministry of Public Works.
Prior to those postings, Richardson spent eight-and-a-half years working at sea as a marine engineer on various types of ships engaged in international trade, and travelled in this capacity to countries around the world. He holds a Master’s Degree in Marine Operations and Management from City University of London, and a Class 1 Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency. Richardson is also a Corporate Member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (MIMarEST), and the Lloyd’s Registry (United States) Advisory Committee.
“Having previously worked in the maritime industry for many years, I’m thrilled and excited to be coming back to an area I am passionate about,” said Richardson. “I look forward to joining the team and working collectively to grow the Bermuda shipping registry and fulfil the objectives of the group.”
Scope thanked BSMA’s Captain Pat Nawaratne for his service as Acting CEO for the past 15 months since the unit’s launch; Nawaratne will continue as BSMA’s Chief Maritime Surveyor.
“We’d also like to send our appreciation to the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), which has worked closely with us during this period of transition to promote Bermuda’s shipping industry and our world-class shipping registry,” Scope added. “The BDA has been representing Bermuda shipping with industry stakeholders throughout this period, and we look forward to now developing that presence overseas under the BSMA banner.
“Since coming out of government, and forming the authority, we’ve had numerous tasks to address, such as finding appropriate office premises, changing accounting systems, and handling other operational issues as we converted from a government department to a public-private entity,” Scope said.
“With the new leadership in place, we’re looking forward to moving forward and growing Bermuda’s all-important registry, as well as complying with all the regulatory standards and conventions that are required.”
Bermuda’s shipping registry is a Category 1 (Cat 1) member of the prestigious British Red Ensign Group (REG), supporting a worldwide portfolio of vessels. The fleet consist of large cruise ships, oil, gas and chemical tankers, container ships, bulk carriers, offshore vessels and megayachts.