Gaby Bornheim has rapidly become the face of the German shipowning community.

But she already had plenty on her plate as managing director of Peter Dohle Schiffahrts, one of Germany’s largest shipping companies.

So what made her take on the additional role as president of the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR)?

Some believe the answer lies partly in the resolution of a long-running tussle over the direction of the national shipping body.

For many years following the financial crisis, discontent had brewed among traditional shipowner members of the Hamburg-based association.