September 2020 | Behind the Green Ship Token are not only highly attractive investment opportunities into digital securities, but also a management that is passionate about shipping. In our background talk we have interviewed the issuers and Vogemann managing directors Jens-Michael Arndt and Markus Lange in detail. In the first part, you will get to know them better and learn what makes the Green Ship Token so interesting apart from its interest rate of 8 percent p.a.
neoFIN: Dear Mr Arndt, dear Mr Lange, please introduce yourself and your company briefly.
Jens-Michael Arndt: Vogemann is a traditional shipping company founded in 1886, which is still owner-operated today. Mr. Lange and I are managing partners.
Vogemann is specialised in the bulk shipping business. The fact that we gather a shipping company, a brokerage and various service companies that are exclusively involved in bulk shipping under one roof, is unique. Due to the close cooperation of these three areas, the ships are optimally supported technically and commercially. This is a great competitive advantage for our customers on all sides. The brokerage is even one of the world’s leading companies of its kind in the bulk shipping sector.
I myself have been working for Vogemann since 2003 and am responsible for the expansion of the fleet and the negotiation and conclusion of newbuilding contracts. The shipping business has been a part of my entire professional career. I am a qualified shipping businessman and also focused on this topic during my studies of industrial engineering and management. Maybe it’s in my blood – I grew up on the river Elbe.
What do you say, Mr. Lange?
Markus Lange: Like Mr. Arndt, I also grew up in Hamburg, so the maritime world is very close by. However, I come from the other corner: I am a trained banker and returned to Hamburgische Landesbank (later: HSH Nordbank AG) after completing my business studies and some time in consulting. This is also where my contact with shipping began: I worked in the shipping department for 14 years, including the analytical area of ship financing and the observation of shipping markets. Since 2008 I am managing director of Reederei Vogemann and due to my experience I am responsible for the area of financing, but also for personnel, accounting and controlling.
A lot has happened over the years. In 2010 the fleet consisted of 23 bulk vessels of different sizes and two product tankers. During the financial crisis the fleet was reduced. However, we were one of the few shipping companies in the world to successfully implement various newbuilding projects for our own account, with friendly shipping companies and investors over the last five years. Our focus here has been on energy-efficient and low-emission ships in the Handysize Bulker segment. Without wanting to sound presumptuous: Mr. Arndt and I, and not least our team, have managed to maneuver the shipping company very successfully even through difficult times.
neoFIN: And apparently you have also succeeded in positioning Vogemann internationally – what is your commitment as a panel broker all about?
Jens-Michael Arndt: That is really something special. As in many areas, there are also stock exchanges in the shipping industry. For example, the Baltic Exchange in London. It publishes seven different indices and prices every day for the worldwide shipping of main cargo on standard routes, including the Baltic Dry Index (BDI). And we are the only market participant from Germany allowed to provide data on this. Why? Because our business model provides us with a comprehensive overview of the market, which means that our own reliable figures are in demand.
neoFIN: Your emission Green Ship Token is similar to digital securities. What prompted you to choose this method of financing?
Markus Lange: The Green Ship Token is an innovative financing vehicle, which in our view fits in very well with our sustainable investments. Because we do everything we can to ensure that our Green Ships are economically successful and as ecological as possible. This, combined with a financing instrument as digital securities, so generated purely digitally, is in our opinion the future and thus fits our investments perfectly.
neoFIN: Where is the added value for your investors with the Green Ship Token? What can the investor expect?
Jens-Michael Arndt: The added value is that the investor participates directly in the success of our Green Ships by investing in our Green Ship Token and, in addition, makes an important contribution to the environment.
The investment in ships whose pollutant emissions are far below the emissions of comparable ships is a sustainable investment. Our ships also run on diesel and produce CO2. There is currently no proven and economical alternative to burning diesel fuel. But the ships purchased with the Green Ship Token emit 20% to 30% less CO2 and thus make a measurable contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
This advantage is not only good for the environment. It also means that these ships can be employed more easily and at higher charter rates. Thus, we can pay 8% interest p.a. on the Green Ship Token. Furthermore, the investors participate in the increase in value of the ships. This is ensured by the profit share of 50 percent.
neoFIN: Can you go into more detail about this profit sharing?
Markus Lange: Sure. When we designed the Green Ship Token, we calculated 8 percent p.a. on the capital invested for maximum 15 years. The interest is generated by chartering out the ships and by proceeds from possible sales. However, we are very confident that we will exceed the planned results. And that is what we give our investors in the Green Ship Token. If we earn 12 percent, we share the remaining 4 percent with our investors after deducting the interest of 8%.
As you can imagine, this is a strong motivation for us. Especially since not only the investors benefit from it, but – of course – so do we. What management would not try to achieve the best possible result in such a constellation?
You would like to read more? Then find the second part of the interview here.