Meet Per Frithjof Lorange - Board Member
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am the Managing Director of S. Ugelstad Invest, a family owned, and internationally diversified, investment company, based out of Sandefjord, Norway. Our investments span the gamut from early-stage venture to private equity, real estate and listed equity. We are also active shipping investors, having previously been owner-operators for S. Ugelstads Rederi.
I am married and the father of two. I am interested in sports (skiing and tennis) and enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction (business, finance, European history).
When did you first realize you were interested in the maritime industry?
As with some of the other board members of Maritime Optima, I have been inculcated with an interest in maritime shipping from an early age. I am in the fifth generation of family actively involved with shipping. I have grown up with photos of merchant vessels of the walls, heard war stories from a young age and participated in board meetings. For me, maritime shipping has always had a special appeal. This interest may partially be rational, but is also partially more emotional, more linked to my attraction toward the skill and courage of those who navigate the seven seas.
You have a background from the shipping business and from academia, and you have invested in many companies and projects, what do you look for when you invest in projects?
In any business investment you wish to maximize your risk-reward function, while making a positive contribution to society. In some long-term investments, the important matter is not to be certain of positive return, but to place oneself in a position to have an asymmetrically large positive return, given some favorable circumstances, without losing one’s shirt should these favorable conditions not appear. In established cyclical businesses, an awareness of the cycle is crucial. In private equity and venture, the business model and the founder team are more important.
What do you think is the key to a successful team?
Successful teams are often characterized, in my view, by shared values, as being on a shared mission, and being infused by a winning culture that places much emphasis on getting things done.
You know the industry, and you know there is a lot of talk about digitalization. How do you think technology can change the business ?
I do not want to claim that I know exactly how digitalization will impact the maritime shipping industry other than I know it already has started to make an impact and that it will continue to do so in the future. I do not see digitalization in shipping as disruption, but rather as working with the best of what works and improving it even further – making good even better. Here, I think Maritime Optima also can make a positive contribution.
Why do you find Maritime Optima interesting and why do you invest time and money in Maritime Optima?
Two reasons: I am very intrigued by Maritime Optima as a business intelligence system, almost like a calculator or processor supporting even better decision-making.
Secondly, I am convinced and impressed by the Maritime Optima team, spearheaded by Kristin Omholt-Jensen, who is a true doer and who I respect highly, as well as her team of committed shipping professionals who bring so much passion and skill to the table.
Anything you want to add?
I only wish to add that I am greatly looking forward to being part of the MO journey!