Korinna Tapaktsoglou is the Chief Financial Officer and member of Pioneer Marine Board of Directors. She joined the Company in 2014 as VP of Finance and Accounts.
She has 25 years of experience in the areas of Finance, Audit, Financial Report and Management Accounting. Prior to joining Pioneer Marine, she was Head of Internal Audit and Compliance in a NYSE listed dry bulk company and Audit Manager in PwC. She holds an Honors bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Macedonia and is a fellow member of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (“ACCA”). She has also completed a postgraduate Leadership Diploma, a course in collaboration with MIT Sloan Executive Education and Columbia Business School Executive Education.
How many ships you currently own, how many are third party managed and what are the near future plans of Pioneer Marine.
We currently manage fourteen geared dry bulk carriers, eight out of which we have ownership stake.
In the future and while working towards our commitment to ‘Green Shipping” we are highly interested in placing orders for Newbuilding eco-designed drybulk carriers. We are also evaluating new technologies in order to enhance our current vessels and improve their fuel efficiency while capturing Co2 emissions.
Since you joined Pioneer Marine what are according to your opinion yours and furthermore the company’s main achievements?
For me one of the greatest achievements was the successful management buyout that took place in 2021 and completed in 2022. During difficult circumstances and after two years of Covid related issues, we delivered good quality services to our clients while always ensured high performance for the Company’s stakeholders.
Getting closer to 2030, is Pioneer Marine committed to a more sustainable future for the maritime industry; can you talk about what that means to you? Why is sustainability important, particularly in the maritime?
The topic of sustainability is one that is very important to our company and our organization has taken this matter very seriously, having even adjusted our company strategy, mission, and vision accordingly. We are working towards a zero emissions future.
As we already know, these days sustainability is very important for environmental, social and economical reasons. In the maritime industry, it is particularly important given the environmental footprint of the vessels. Apart from the environmental and social aspects, we believe that going forward the organizations who will neglect sustainability principles will lose their competitive edge and will become obsolete.
What are your market predictions/forecasts for shipping for the following 2-3 years?
We are optimistic and see positive signs for the shipping market for the next 2-3 years, especially in the handy sector given the healthy orderbook so far. We are always prepared and remain flexible because as the past experience has shown, there will always be unforeseen challengers in the maritime and we must be resilient.
Let’s start with the woman behind the name. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Apart from Shipping what else do you enjoy in life? What are your hobbies?
I enjoy spending good quality time with my family, especially with my two daughters. I’m a tennis addict and I love dancing. My father is a painter and I like organizing art exhibitions and events to demonstrate his work.
What is your recipe for success?
My recipe for success is to always stick to your character and to your personal morals and ethics. In today’s day, it is easy to follow the crowd, but it is important to stick to what you believe in, even when you have peer pressure from others. I also believe motivation paired with dedication contribute greatly to success.
How did you choose to engage in shipping, especially in such a man’s world?
When I became involved in Shipping in 2005, there were very few women in the Maritime field. Shipping is the country’s most important industry and back then it really was booming, therefore I saw the potential and I wanted to be a part of the exciting transformation of private, family owned business becoming corporate structures in their effort to enter the capital markets and gain access to various lending platforms. My previous experience as an auditor in Big 4 environment filled me with confidence that I could bring added value to a shipping organization.
What is a woman’s profile in shipping?
There has been so much achieved in the past few years (such as the election of Melina Travlos as the head of the Union of Greek Shipowners) Mrs. Travlos is the first women to be elected president of the USG and this clearly shows the commitment for improving gender diversity in the Maritime industry and empowering women in this dynamic and ever evolving sector.
As a woman in the maritime industry, I believe it’s important to accept the responsibility and take the actions needed in order to make yourself stand out. It is important for the maritime industry to accept that women are in this field to make their mark and stay. We are strong individuals who want to work, earn our own money, look after our families, and take care of ourselves by standing on our own feet. Although there are many opportunities for a woman in the maritime field, it is crucial to note that it is a very demanding sector and we must be determined to work hard, be innovative, make sacrifices and work diligently with others. As with many aspects of life, women are the backbone to many great achievements. We are all humans; we are all on the same ship.
Why do you think women currently make up only a small percentage of the world’s maritime workforce? What could be done to change that?
I believe that women only make up a small percentage of the World’s maritime force because many women are not aware of the opportunities available in the maritime industry. We need to raise awareness and focus on the female figures that are fierce leaders, role models and mentors. In Athens there is more awareness brought to women working in the maritime field, but if you visit other parts of Greece people are not vey informed of a women’s role in shipping. It’s important for young girls to realize what roles they can fulfill in this industry so they can see ahead of time the barriers that may face, but also the rewards.
There are great organization that also encourage women to contribute to the maritime field such as WISTA International, which is an international organization focusing on supporting women in the maritime field.