April 4, 2022 — The Association of Pacific Ports welcomes Port & Maritime Business Management (PMBM) as our newest Associate Member. While the company was formally incorporated last year, the team of highly seasoned professionals have been working together since 2012, providing board advisory and interim management services for both private and public companies in the industrial, ports, logistics, maritime, energy and manufacturing sectors. “Our complimentary skills and technical and operational expertise have provided very successful results for many organizations around the world,” said Emmanuel Polman, Head of Strategy and Transactions.

With a notable track record, the PMBM team engages with companies to take ownership of the full project life cycle, from concept to implementation. “We have the technical expertise to undertake feasibility studies, strategies, business case development, etc., but what distinguishes us from other consultancy firms is our operational expertise,” said CEO George Gourlay and Emmanuel Polman. Indeed, a quick review of team bios shows affiliations with some of the largest companies in the oil and energy, and maritime logistics supply chain sectors, including Saudi Aramco, Global Energy Group, Hutchison Ports, Sapura Energy, Aker Solutions, and Port of Rotterdam to name just a few.

The best way to describe the services of PMBM is to use their projects as examples.

In 2012 – the first time the team started working together – they undertook a strategic initiative to enter into the ship and offshore rig building market for a four-company joint venture in the United Arab Emirates. As described by Gourlay, the International Maritime Industry (IMI) Shipyard within the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services involved a full scope of services from concept to realization. “We started with the business plan and bringing together the right partners (Saudi Aramco, Bahri, the national shipping company of Saudi Arabia, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Lamprell) and then developed the operational structure and built it into a fully operational company.”

Starting from scratch, Polman led the development of the strategic business plan and set up the operational structure which Gourlay then headed. “It was an eight-year project with the plan being for Saudi nationals to be trained to take over the full operations of the facility,” said Polman.

More recently, in December 2021, PMBM took on providing board advisory services to the Port of Baie Comeau, Quebec, Canada. With the goal of building a bulk terminal, PMBM is developing the business case, negotiating agreements, and putting an infrastructure financing structure in place. “The key study in this instance is the business case – valuating the terminal and providing guidance on how to get it into the market. We’re actively involved in the transaction itself as well as the execution,” said Polman.

In another project currently underway, PMBM is engaged in assessing a partnership strategy between a Canadian port and a port in Europe, focused on capacity and capability building, hydrogen industry development, and transport corridor development.

Many more examples showcasing PMBM’s services can be provided, including:

  • Gourlay’s active involvement as CEO in a turnaround and restructuring project of an electro-mechanical plant for OIL Engineering, a leading Emirati industrial company in the oil and gas, petrochemical, and power generation sectors. “It was a loss-making business and we turned it into a profit-making business within 18 months,” said Gourlay, adding that the facility now employs over 1,000 people.
  • The acquisition and reactivation of the Port of Nigg’s shipyard, one of the largest drydock and fabrication yards in Europe, to transform the once dormant yard into the largest renewable installation fabrication facility in the United Kingdom. The project took about two years to acquire the yard, the drydock and then all the cranage and facilities. The facility now employs a workforce of 3,500.
  • Chair of the Board and CFO Jarle Lonning’s involvement with a private equity firm to grow a Norwegian fish farm globally. He and the team are actively building up the organization, developing the global market and working on establishing a footprint in Canada.

While the common thread of PMBM’s projects is rooted in the marine industry, the company’s disciplines span all technical and operational aspects with great strength in board advisory services. “Historically, companies with boards – especially older companies – will only act when they have been hit hard with poor financial returns or facing the prospect of bankruptcy,” said Gourlay. “Boards need operational, financial, and strategic strengths and PMBM offers this.”

A quick look at PMBM’s website provides a succinct outline of board advisory services:

  • Strategy — Originate, set target, define roadmap, organizational change, ownership, operations, commercialization, market trends, cost/revenue/EBIT, growth, supply chain, carbon footprint reduction, financial
  • Business case – quantify & frame, feasibility, business models, business case, financial analysis, scenario analysis, risk & mitigation, public private partnership, sustainability, concessions, socio economic impact
  • Structuring — stakeholder management, bankability, fund raising, partnership structuring, financing plan, ownership structure, governance structure, exit strategy, IP rights, transaction agreements, bidding processes
  • Transaction — negotiations, ownership, governance, financing, shareholder’s policy, management plan, business plan, start up plan, negotiations
  • Implement — start up, transfer, integrate operational plan, capabilities & capacity ramp up, integration / transfer go-to market strategy

In looking to the future, PMBM has joined with the APP to be able to grow the geographic scope of their services. “Our experiences with projects all over the world have allowed us to build our expertise in understanding cultures and how different nationalities function, especially with bringing in new technologies and integrating them into the nuances of each country and their culture,” said Gourlay, adding that in today’s world where virtual management has eliminated expensive travel budgets, their ability to assist boards and companies who are looking to expand their capabilities but don’t have the expertise or knowledge to achieve it, comes without a huge price tag.

For more information about Port and Maritime Business Management, visit www.pm-bm.com.