New York native Peter Georgiopoulos was one of shipping’s pioneers in building companies with help from private equity. But things changed a lot — and not for the better — between his start in the 1990s and his final experiences 20 years later.

Georgiopoulos laid out that transition with typical bluntness on Thursday at a Marine Money conference in Manhattan as he was interviewed on stage by another veteran of the investment wars, Scorpio Tankers president Robert Bugbee.

Bugbee set things in motion by noting that Georgiopoulos had delivered outsized returns in the early days with his New York-listed tanker company General Maritime, particularly with respect to early backer Oaktree Capital Management.