Marco Polo makes convincing turnaround

Sean Lee is a fighter. It was not apparent when I first got to know him in 2010. Back then was a great time to be an offshore marine vessel owner, as oil prices were climbing towards record levels. But the bubble popped in mid-2014. Over the next 18 months, oil prices crashed 70%, and…

Written by

Azure Capital Fund Management Singapore Private Debt Fund Singapore Hedge Funds Lyte Fund Terence Wong Blue Suit

Terence Wong, CFA

CEO and Executive Director
Azure Capital

Sep 7, 2022

Sean Lee is a fighter.

It was not apparent when I first got to know him in 2010. Back then was a great time to be an offshore marine vessel owner, as oil prices were climbing towards record levels.

But the bubble popped in mid-2014. Over the next 18 months, oil prices crashed 70%, and vessels were mothballed. One-time market darlings like Ezion, Ezra and Swiber fell by the wayside. Marco Polo Marine (MPM) was also doomed to fail, but managed to survive only because of Sean’s tenacity.

Now the tide has turned. Oil prices have risen over the past year and demand for vessels have once again shot up. Underinvestment in this sector means a severe lack of vessels, leading to a rise in rental rates. MPM’s pivot towards wind energy in Taiwan is also paying off.

Now that MPM has firmly turned around, Sean’s shedding of blood and tears over the past 6 years has been validated. Time to take the gloves off for a breather!