Stathis Topouzoglou / Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Topouzoglou is the founder of Prime and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Topouzoglou has more than 35 years of experience in the shipping industry.
In 1999, Mr. Topouzoglou founded Prime Marine Management, a predecessor of Prime Tanker & Prime Gas Management, a leading international product tanker and gas carrier management company, which has managed more than 95 vessels since its inception.
Mr. Topouzoglou is also a founding partner and a board member of Energean Oil & Gas Plc, a Footsie 250 oil and gas exploration and production company with activities in Greece, Israel, Egypt and Italy.
Mr. Topouzoglou also serves as Chairman of the board of First Lease Ship Trust, a listed shipping trust on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Mr. Topouzoglou holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Athens, Greece.
Michael Chalkias / Co-Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Chalkias is the co-founder of Prime and serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Chalkias has more than 25 years of experience in the shipping industry, during which he has accumulated broad experience in all aspects of the business. In 1999, Mr. Chalkias co-founded Prime Marine Management, a predecessor of Prime Tanker & Prime Gas Management, a leading international product tanker and gas carrier management company. Prior to co-founding Prime Marine, he was employed by Tufton Oceanic Limited, a specialized shipping finance and investment firm in London, where he was involved with debt and equity instruments as well as structured financing. Mr. Chalkias serves as Director of Global Ship Lease Inc (GSL:US) and Director of First Lease Ship Trust (D8DU:SGX). Mr. Chalkias holds an MSc with Distinction in Shipping, Trade & Finance from the Cass Business School of London and a BSc with Honors in Maritime Business and Law from the University of Plymouth.
George Kouleris / Chief Operating Officer
George Kouleris serves as Chief Operating Officer for PRIME. He is responsible for the operations of PRIME’s combined fleet. George started his career in 1978 with Albion Marine Consultants, a naval consulting firm. He co-founded Blue Flag Navigation in 1981 which owned/managed various types of dry cargo ships and thereafter branched out to chemical tankers and product carriers, as well as chemical tankers. In 1997, he moved to Dubai as COO of Galaxy Shipping UAE, managing LPGC, oil tankers and chemical carriers. In 1998, he joined Oceanbulk, as Fleet Manager of bulkers, ROLO and MPCs. At the end of the same year, he joined PRIME. George acquired a degree in Naval Architecture from the Sunderland University and a degree in naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Joseph Tzardis / Commercial Director
Joseph Tzardis serves as Commercial Director for PRIME. He is responsible for the overall employment status of the PRIME product tanker fleet. Joseph started his career at PRIME in 2004 assuming finance analysis duties. He went on to set-up a proprietary tanker freight futures portfolio for PRIME between 2006 and 2008. Since 2009 Joseph has been leading commercial and chartering activities of the tanker fleet, historically ranging from MR to LR1 and LR2/Aframax. Accumulating valuable experience and maintaining close relationships within the product tanker space, he has been specializing on LR1 employment opportunities in line with PRIME expertise in the sector. Joseph holds a postgraduate degree in Finance & Economics from the London School of Economics.
Frantzeskos Kontos / Technical Manager
Frantzeskos Kontos serves as PRIME’s Technical Manager. He is responsible for the technical management of PRIME’s fleet. Fratzeskos is working in Shipping Industry from 1986, initially at Classification Society (ABS) and thereafter at a well established, traditional Greek Shipping company managing bulk and tanker fleet. He went through all the levels from that of Superintendent Engineer to Technical Department head controlling dry-docking, repair, maintenance, purchasing activities and following allocated budgets. He has been also involved in Newbuildings, reviewing specification/contracts, carrying out plan approvals and supervising various tanker projects in major Korean Yards. Fratzeskos holds an MSc in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).
George Papathanassiou / Legal and Insurance Manager
George Papathanassiou serves as Legal and Insurance Manager of PRIME and handles all legal and insurance matters of the group of companies. He has spent more than a decade in the shipping industry as legal consultant and insurance manager in a number of Greek shipping companies. George is a qualified Greek lawyer and has a LLM degree at Shipping Law/Marine Insurance. He is a member of the Athens bar Association as from 1988.