Van Ameyde McAuslands have appointed Jeff Wilson as their Managing Director, following Albert Weatherill’s retirement as MD.
Jeff comes to the role with 37 years of experience in marine and technical operations, management and consulting following a period as Managing Director with another UK based marine survey and consulting company.
Jeff’s career started in 1985 with Shell, sailing on their crude, product and liquefied gas vessels for 11 years. “It was a great, unpredictable adventure”, he says “and a fantastic way to start out. Not just from a technical point of view, although standards were very high and technically the learning curve was always very steep there, but the senior people who ran the operation had very high standards and placed a premium on integrity and a high work ethic. What happens at the start stays with you for the rest of your life, and it was a great foundation”.
All good things come to an end though, and after gaining his Master Mariner license Jeff left the sea to start an academic career which ultimately led to him leading, designing and teaching marine operations undergraduate programmes and also undertake a Masters programme that led to completing an MSc in Strategy & Resource Management. “That ten years or so was really good for me. I got the space and time to explore a few ideas and get deeper into the underpinnings of the industry, and the time spent on the MSc brought me a few perspectives I wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
A completely new challenge arrived in 2006 with OSG, one of the world’s leading tanker owners and operators at that time. “I joined OSG initially as a superintendent, with no experience of running vessels”, but, he says “they wanted energetic, ambitious people who could learn quickly and drive their agenda of running ships flawlessly, and they certainly drove me.” The six years at OSG as he span round the company in different roles was pivotal to the way in which he sees organisations and how organisation need to be run. “I did just about every job you could do in a ship owning and managing company, in a very demanding environment. Integrity, again, was the single thing that mattered the most in that company. Even if it costs, you have to have it. People can learn technical skills, but if they don’t have that then the service suffers.”
A chance conversation led to a change in path and a role with GL Noble Denton in 2012 as a casualty consultant working out of their offices in the City of London. “I loved it, it was exactly where my skills intersected with the combination of technical work, talking to clients, making the work profitable and pulling teams together around projects. And I loved working full time in London too. A great time”. A move to Braemar as Director of Marine Consulting in London followed “which was a great move. They wanted to expand their consulting and together we got going with technical services to the finance markets, set up a Ports and Harbours team, expanded the casualty offering and SCR coverage and started repositioning the offering so that the team was more diverse and future-ready”.
2017 saw Jeff take up a role as Managing Director with International Marine Survey, an ambitious and lean business that wanted to diversify and expand. “They wanted somebody who’d been in a bigger machine, I wanted to work with them, we had a great five years and the business morphed into something much more diverse and robust than I think any of us had foreseen.”
And then, in September 2022 Jeff joined Van Ameyde McAuslands as Managing Director. “When the chance came to join them as their MD after Albert’s retirement it seemed like an opportunity too good to turn down.” The acquisition of McAuslands by Van Ameyde puts the company “definitely in the top tier” of marine groups worldwide and provides a solid base from which the marine group can expand in their existing markets and into “markets that are new for the Company.” Albert Weatherill remains with the company in a role as Senior Advisor, and, says Jeff, “that continuity is very important not only to the business but also to our clients.”
“We’re very optimistic about the future in Van Ameyde”, he says. “We’ve got an ambitious management team, great staff, fantastic clients, a culture of getting the job right and getting it done on time, a supportive culture that wants people to grow and succeed and – crucially – the integrity that every business absolutely needs to keep succeeding”.