Alibra opens up in Greece with former Lightship head at helm

Founder Giuseppe Rosano says five more brokers are expected to join Stefanos Makris at the new dry cargo outfit soon

Independent shipbroker Alibra Shipping has launched its first overseas office with a new dry cargo operation in Greece.

Alibra has hired Stefanos Makris, the former managing director of Lightship Chartering in Athens, and will add five more staff in the coming weeks.

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Alibra Shipping Hellas will run out of Glyfada and work across the supramax, ultramax and handy sectors.

Rosano, founder and chief executive of Alibra, has known Makris for 27 years, having first worked together at a Greek shipowner's office in London.

While London-headquartered Alibra has employed overseas consultants in the past and has voiced ambitions to establish bases overseas, the move marks its first office outside of the UK.

“We would only open up an office with the right people who have the same thoughts, beliefs and style of work as us,” Rosano said. “Stefanos is that. He was not ready before, but he is ready now.

Spotlight on Alibra Shipping

Founded in 2006 by chief executive Giuseppe Rosano, who has worked in the shipbroking field for 27 years

Alibra Shipping provides tanker and dry cargo chartering, sale-and-purchase and research services to an extensive portfolio of clients

“He happened to be in Greece and because of the work that we do in Greece already, it’s a very organic growth for Alibra," added Rosano, who believes teaming up with Makris was always on the cards.

London head office

Unlike the brokerage’s head office in London, the new team in Greece will not initially be active in the tanker market. However, the company “would never say no to a broker with an interest to alternate between any markets” and the new office intends to “offer a broad spectrum of services” in the future.

"I feel that a broker needs to have the freedom to work interchangeably as his\her career develops," he said. "I just cannot imagine working in the same, repetitive market for 15 years, 10 years, or even five years. I can only compare this to being locked in a cage.”

Rosano declined to identify who else has been recruited to Alibra Shipping Hellas other than to say they have experience in the “Greek industry fraternity”.

Formerly of Howard Houlder and Simpson Spence Young, Rosano founded Alibra 12 years ago. He believes Alibra Shipping Hellas gives the company a stronger platform in the Greek community as well as other areas of southern Europe. “We do quite a bit of business in Greece and we want to cement that going forward,” he said.

Rosano dismissed the suggestion that opening an office in the intensely competitive Greek market is a risk. “I’m very conservative and not a big gambler,” he said.

“With Greece, I don’t see it as a risk at all. There is plenty of the cake for everybody to take a slice and we are not looking to reinvent anything.

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“We will bring our expertise and knowledge from the London market and I’m sure this will assist with our Greek colleagues in bringing interesting deals to the table.”

Rosano said Alibra has a specific way of working, which he sees as “under the radar”. “Clients like the smaller shops, as deals can remain private,” he said.

Alibra Shipping Hellas is likely to be followed by further expansionary moves. “There are other plans in the pipeline and I’m happy to say things are moving ahead on another project,” Rosano said. “Let’s watch this space.”