Marine Finance Forum Returns To New Orleans

Marine Money International, the publisher of Marine Money magazine, will hold the second annual Marine Finance Forum in New Orleans November 30 at the Four Seasons Hotel. The one-day event, titled “Dealmaking in the Jones Act and U.S. Flag,” will focus on transaction activity in the United States’ maritime industry, from debt and equity to mergers and acquisitions.

Following a welcome and opening remarks from Marine Money’s Matt and Mike McCleery and Kirk Phillips, president and CEO of Wintrust Commercial Finance, the forum will begin with a session on future fuels and marine asset investment strategies in the context of the broader decarbonization movement. John Hatley, who leads GM market innovation efforts for Wärtsilä, will focus on the buzz around clean fuels, consider the development timeline for those fuels and offer considerations for marine asset obsolescence, ordering and waiting.

Morning sessions will also include a shipyard panel, followed by a look at how to access debt capital. The shipyard session will feature Ben Bordelon, CEO of Bollinger Shipyards; Joey D’Isernia, chairman and CEO of Eastern Shipbuilding Group; Omear Khalid, president and CEO of Americraft Marine Group; and Roy Bleiberg, vice president of regional business development for North America for ABS. The debt capital session, moderated by Kurt Plankl, a partner at Seward & Kissel, will include Phillips; Andrew Shohet Sr., vice president of ocean industries for DNB Bank; Kyle Parks, executive vice president and head of direct originations for Stonebriar Commercial Finance; Kevin O’Hara, managing director for AMA Capital Partners; and Brett Hewitt, senior vice president for Wells Fargo Equipment Finance’s marine group.

During the first half of the forum, attendees will also hear a conversation between Alan Ginsberg, chief financial officer for McAllister Towing, and Ted Tregurtha, president and CEO of Moran Holdings, along with topics like “Tapping the Securitization Market with Maritime Assets,” “Growth Opportunities in the U.S. Flag,” “Investing in Digitalization is Also an Investment in People” and “The Tanker and ATB Market.”

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Afternoon sessions will begin with a look at whether the current U.S. vessel fleet is equipped to achieve 80 percent renewable energy use by 2030 and what investments may be needed to achieve that. Tracy Zea, president and CEO of Waterways Council Inc., will then offer an update on inland waterways transportation system infrastructure.

The forum will conclude with a trio of panel discussions:

• The Offshore Wind Market, featuring Joel Whitman, president of Foss Offshore Wind; Bradley Neuberth, managing partner for MidOcean Wind; Bob Karl, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley Wind Services; Eric Harford Empey, director of operations for DEME Group; Miguel Hernandez, senior vice president of global offshore for ABS; and William C. Baldwin, partner at Jones Walker (moderator).

• Inland Marine Dry & Liquid Sectors, featuring Mike Ellis, CEO of American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL); Clark Todd, president and CEO of Blessey Marine Services; Bob Thomas, chief operating officer of Southern Devall; Del Wilkins, president of Illinois Marine Towing; and Jennifer Carpenter, president and CEO of The American Waterways Operators (moderator).

• The OSV Market: Let the Good Times Roll, featuring Quintin Kneen, president, CEO and director for Tidewater; J. Peter Laborde Jr., managing member of Laborde Marine Management LLC; Todd Hornbeck, chairman, president and CEO of Hornbeck Offshore Services; Shane Guidry, owner of Q-LNG and chairman and CEO of Harvey Gulf International Marine; and Charlie Papavizas, partner and maritime practice chair for Winston & Strawn (moderator).

Phillips will offer closing remarks, and a cocktail reception will follow.

Registration for both Marine Money members and nonmembers is available online, with special packages available and a discount for American Waterways Operators carrier members and affiliates. For more information, visit and look for upcoming events.