Thursday, February 19, 2009
Dalian: With the paperwork just about out the way International Registries, Inc (IRI) will launch its latest office in Dubai probably by the end of this month. The administrator of the Marshall Islands flag already has 10 different owners flying its flag from the region but the new office will help expand its geographical reach beyond the UAE and Qatar.
Another office in Houston is set to open at the end of March with offshore operators in mind, bringing IRI’s worldwide tally of offices to 20.
The Hong Kong office - IRI’s Asian hub - is being beefed up, with a view to having 15 staff soon.
IRI has for some time been decentralising operations so that key offices can complete full registration of ships without waiting for US headquarters to wake up. ‘We’ve been getting away from everyone having to wait for the US to get up,’ said Bill Gallagher, president of IRI, in an interview with Seatrade Asia Online.
Such huge expansion around the world has led IRI to elevate John Ramage to the new position of Director, Worldwide Business Operations, while retaining his UK md role.
With a full time staff of 190 now IRI is keen to get away from its Reston, Virginia roots. ‘People think of us as American. We genuinely are not now. We have as much overseas staff as in the US,’ said Gallagher.
Buoyed by surging business from Japan Gallagher is eyeing third spot in the global register rankings. ‘Bahamas, watch out! We’re coming,’ he said in typically bullish form. The Marshall Islands now stands at 47m grt, while Bahamas just passed the 50m mark. Gallagher maintained the Bahamas could be overhauled as soon as year end.
IRI started working with the Marshall Islands back in 1990. Growth since then has been meteoric, based on the principle of being close to market. [18/02/09]