Stathis Topouzoglou / Chief Executive Officer
Stathis Topouzoglou is the founder of PRIME and serves as Chief Executive Officer. He has more than 35 years of experience in the shipping industry. Since 1978, he has worked in the chartering and operations departments of various companies in Greece & the United Kingdom, during which time he obtained broad experience and built strong relationships within the shipping industry. In 1999, he founded PRIME Marine Management, a predecessor of PRIME Tanker & PRIME Gas, a leading international product tanker and gas carrier management company, which has managed more than 75 vessels since its inception. He holds a B.A. in Business administration and Economics from the University of Athens, Greece. Stathis is also a founding partner and a board member of Energean Oil and Gas, the only Greek oil and gas exploration and production company with activities in Greece, Egypt and Montenegro, and of Prime Energy, a company engaged in the renewable energy business.
Michael Chalkias / Co-Chief Executive Officer
Michael Chalkias is the co-founder of PRIME and serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer. He has more than 20 years of experience in the shipping industry, during which he has accumulated broad experience in all aspects of the business. In 1999, Michael co-founded PRIME. Prior to co-founding PRIME Marine, he was employed by Tufton Oceanic Limited, a specialized shipping finance and investment firm with its registered office in London, where he was involved with debt and equity instruments as well as structured financing. He holds an MSc with honors in Shipping, Trade & Finance from the City University of London and a BSc with honors in Maritime Business and Law form the University of Plymouth. Michael is also a board member of PRIME Energy, a company engaged in the renewable energy business.
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).
Manolis Petsalis / Operations Manager
Captain Manolis Petsalis serves as Prime’s Manager of Operations assigned with the supervision of all operational items within the fleet that include the day to day vessel’s operation as well as the reservation for commercial compliance of the fleet with its contractual obligations and commitments under relevant applicable laws and conventions.
Captain Manolis is working in Shipping Industry since 2009 when initially employed by Trafigura Maritime Ventures Ltd as a Tanker and LPG operator for their time chartered fleet in their Athens Office where he gained valuable commercial experience and knowledge before joining Prime on October 2012.
Before starting his shore based career he served on board product and chemical tankers starting from Junior deck Officer up to the rank of Master building also an important seagoing experience. Captain Manolis holds an advanced Maritime Professional Diploma after attending courses with the ICS in 2009 while has also attended Postgraduate studies in Maritime Law by distance learning in 2005-2006 offered by London Metropolitan University.
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.