Architect of the Modern Norwegian Hull Club.
Bergen, Norway – May 28, 2015 – The Norwegian Hull Club announced that John Wiik will step down as CEO on 1 January 2016, at the age of 66. Mr. Wiik successfully steered the Club through years of growth and prosperity to create one of the largest pure marine underwriters in the world.
The Club is very pleased to announce that Mr. Wiik’s role will be filled by Faz Peermohamed. Mr. Peermohamed, a senior partner at London’s Ince & Co., is a career shipping man: he is an ex Ship’s Master and a well-respected maritime lawyer. He currently holds the position of Global Head of Shipping at Ince, where he has worked for some 22 years.
Mr. Wiik joined the Club in 1979, when the company was still known as Bergens Skibsassuranseforening. During his three decades at the Club, he played a significant role in the company’s national and international expansion. As a result, 80% of revenue today comes from international markets.
Mr. Wiik became CEO of the company in 1984. He soon established a positive and creative work atmosphere in a business dealing with shipping’s invariable market cycles. He also modernised the process of competent claims handling, and expanded the Club’s client base.
The Club’s Chairman, Hans Olav Lindal, said, “Mr. Wiik deserves great praise for his long and fruitful career, and for taking the club into new areas of coverage, modernising systems and claims procedures for the benefit of our clients. He has been an instrumental force in building the organization and the brand name of NHC into the strong position it holds today. The Board and our members thank him for his enormous contributions to the Club’s success and achievements, and are grateful to him for a job well done.”
Mr. Wiik said, “Mine has been an enormously satisfying career with the Club, but it’s really the people – staff, members, advisors – who have all assisted me in bringing us where we are today. I am delighted that Faz Peermohamed will be my replacement, I am confident that he will be a great asset to the Club and that he will continue to take the Club to greater successes.”
The Chairman of the Norwegian Hull Club, Mr. Lindal, commented, “After 30 years at the helm, John leaves behind him a Club better fit than ever to face any challenges ahead, and in pole position to continue its prosperous development. His entrepreneurial spirit, his enthusiastic dedication, and his highly competent contribution to the Club are true testaments to our slogan: Expect More.”
Mr. Lindal continued, “We are delighted to have Faz Peermohamed lead the Club in the coming years. The Board cannot think of a more suitable candidate to take command of this ship, than Faz. We are very attracted to what he can offer given his significant experience with the insurance, legal, and commercial sectors of the shipping industry. He has a clear and comprehensive understanding of the Club’s goals. The Board and management look forward to continuing the evolution of the Club for the benefit of our clients and members under his capable leadership.”
The NHC Chairman noted, “Mr. Peermohamed’s career, both at sea and as a lawyer, has provided him with an exceptional ability to view commercial and insurance issues from many angles. He brings not only a vision for our future, but the tools with which to achieve that vision. We are extremely proud to welcome him as our new CEO.”
From his early days as a seafarer, rising to Captain with Maersk, Mr. Peermohamed has proven to be a talented and accomplished professional, focused on helping businesses solve problems, capture new opportunities, and prepare for the future.
Mr. Peermohamed qualified as a solicitor in London. Over the past 20 years at Ince, he has been immersed in helping insurance companies solve some of their most complex problems. His work has also included working with insurers to make shipping safer and smarter. “The legal issues inherent in global insurance and shipping require a pragmatic, calm under pressure, and assured approach. We feel that Mr. Peermohamed is particularly well suited to lead us into the future, ” noted the Board of NHC.
Since joining Ince in 1994, Mr. Peermohamed has become well known for his work as a leading lawyer, and for his strong maritime industry links with shipowners and insurers around the world. His passion for the shipping industry has been demonstrated time and again, both by his innovative ideas and by the tenacity with which he sets about solving the most complex cases and business challenges.
While leading the Global Admiralty team at Ince, he provided expert counsel on some of the industry’s most high profile cases; the Costa Concordia capsize in Italy & the Prestige oil spill in Spain, among others. Each of these cases involved dozens of highly charged legal, commercial, and political challenges, the proper handling of which always had to contribute to a safe and satisfactory legal and commercial outcome.
His experience has also included creating new clauses to improve underwriting performance, and he has worked with the leading insurers of the world in dealing with loss prevention practices, providing practical guidance to help shipping fleets prevent accidents.
He was named Lloyd’s List Global Maritime Lawyer of the Year in 2013, and was featured in the Lloyd’s List Top 10 Law Personalities of 2013. Chambers & Partners, the highly respected UK ranking agency, named him the best mariner/lawyer in the London market with exceptional capabilities. Most recently, London Super Lawyers magazine, part of Thomson Reuters, named him one of their Super Lawyers for Shipping Law in 2014.
Mr. Wiik said of Mr. Peermohamed, “His merits speak for themselves, and he is highly regarded both within the club, by our members, and in the maritime industry generally. We believe he holds the values, the qualifications, and the capacity required to steer the NHC to new and even higher goals.”
Jan Heuvels, Ince & Co’s International Senior Partner, commented “Faz and I joined Ince & Co some 22 years ago and during that time have established a very close working relationship. I am personally delighted for him that he has been asked to join the Norwegian Hull Club, one of Ince & Co’s most valued clients, as CEO in January 2016. I look forward to maintaining a close relationship with him, both in his capacity as a client and as a friend.”
Paul Herring, Ince & Co’s Chairman, commented “Faz has played a key role in establishing Ince & Co as one of the finest law firms advising clients in the shipping industry. His appointment to head up of one of the world’s leading marine and energy insurers is illustrative of the quality of the lawyers that we have at our firm. With 60 partners and 130 other fee earners specialising in the sector globally, we remain as committed to our shipping clients as ever. Faz joins NHC with our very best wishes.”
On his appointment, Mr. Peermohamed said, “My time at Ince & Co. will always be invaluable and special for me. One would be hard pressed to find a finer, more dedicated group of partners, associates and staff. I know I will continue to be in touch with my friends at Ince even as I embrace the exciting commercial future of the NHC, whose own management and staff has built a powerful, quality brand. There could be no greater thrill or opportunity than to build upon John Wiik’s lasting foundation. I am honoured and humbled by my appointment as CEO and look forward to spearheading the continued growth of such a strong and respected firm with motivated colleagues who show the same dedication, creativity and knowledge as those with whom I have had the privilege to work with during my career.”
Mr. Peermohamed will be supported by the NHC’s strong and experienced management team, consisting of Hans Christian Seim, Arne Birkeland, Atle Fjeldstad, Ole Jørgen Eikanger, and Per Gustav Blom, all of whom are enthusiastic about having Mr. Peermohamed on board and looking forward to welcoming him to Bergen.