Columbia Group chief executive Mark O’Neil is doubtful there exists much scope for further major ship management mergers.

Last month, a new super-power in the sector was formed by the combination of private equity-backed OSM Maritime with Singapore’s Thome Ship Management, creating a fleet of more than 1,000 ships under third-party management.

“What is interesting now is the polarisation in the business between those ship managers that are essentially fund-backed or owned, and those large managers that are family-owned,” O’Neil told TradeWinds.