After 27 years’ service as CEO of Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. (SCB), the Managers of the American P&I Club, Joe Hughes will stand down from that role on August 1, 2022. He will be succeeded by Dorothea Ioannou, currently Deputy Chief Operating Officer of SCB, who will become the first woman to ascend to the top executive position of an International Group P&I club in the 167-year history of the marine mutuals.
At the same time, Vince Solarino will step down as Chief Operating Officer of SCB, Inc. after a similar length of service to that of Mr. Hughes, with Dan Tadros, presently Chief Legal and Compliance Officer of SCB, taking over the role of COO from Mr Solarino.
Arpad Kadi will continue to discharge his duties as Chief Financial Officer and Tom Hamilton will continue in his role as Chief Underwriting Officer.
At the recent meeting of the American Club’s Board of Directors at which this news was announced, it was explained that Messrs Hughes and Solarino would remain, respectively, as Chairman and President of SCB to focus on the transitioning of their day-to-day operational roles to their senior colleagues, led by Ms Ioannou in concert with Messrs Tadros, Kadi and Hamilton, and supported by SCB’s service teams throughout the world.
Joe Hughes notably led the American Club’s Vision 2000 initiative to internationalize and diversify its business, and together with Vince Solarino accomplished the accession of the American Club as a full pooling member of the International Group of P&I Clubs in February 1998.
Having established Eagle Ocean Management, LLC to acquire SCB from Marsh & McLennan (the successor to Johnson & Higgins) in 2002, Mr Hughes and Mr Solarino subsequently developed additional lines of business, most notably in the form of Eagle Ocean Agencies, Inc. which, in addition to operating the Eagle Ocean Marine (EOM) brand of the American Club, also acts as a program administrator for Validus/AIG in underwriting US hull and liability cover under the Eagle Ocean America banner.
Dorothea Ioannou was born, raised and educated in New York. A graduate of the City University of New York and St. John’s University School of Law, she relocated to Greece in 1997. After working originally in legal practice and insurance broking, Ms. Ioannou joined the newly-established SCB (Hellas), Inc., the Piraeus claims liaison office of SCB, in 2005. Initially employed as a claims executive, Ms. Ioannou subsequently rose to be the General Manager of the office in 2009, Regional Business Development Director in 2013 and Global Director of Business Development for the American Club in 2015.
As part of SCB’s succession plan, Ms. Ioannou relocated to the company’s head office in New York in 2018. Having been appointed Deputy COO some three years ago, and Secretary to the American Club in 2020, Ms. Ioannou’s elevation to CEO as of August 1, 2022 has been preceded by growing executive responsibilities over several years.
“I am thrilled and excited with this new appointment, which as a woman carries with it not only responsibility and significance for our organization, but also, as a first in the P&I sector, for the marine insurance industry in general,” said Ms ioannou. “I have from the start been proud of working with SCB, the American Club and EOM and the team of talented professionals across the world with whom I have spent the last 17 years.
“I have been particularly privileged by the mentorship of Joe and Vince and I look forward to building on the achievements of the past to generate yet further success in the future.”