Clarkson plc

Public limited company
Industry Shipping
Founded 1852
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
(Head office)
Area served
Global, 36 Offices
Key people
James Hughes-Hallett, Chairman
Andi Case, CEO
Products Shipbroking
Revenue £301.8 million (2015)[1]
£49.5 million (2015)[1]
£22.3 million (2015)[1]

Clarkson PLC, often referred to simply as Clarksons, is the world's leading provider of shipping services, and is headquartered in London.[2] It has 46 offices in 20 different countries.[3] In 2011, Lloyd's List described the company's shipbroking service as the "undisputed heavyweight of the shipbroking market".[4] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The company was founded by Horace Anderton Clarkson in London in 1852.[5] The son of a prosperous lawyer, he invited Leon Benham, a former colleague, to join him in partnership.[6] Benham's son Henry soon joined the business.[7] In the 1850s the business involved sailing ships, but by the 1860s the company was chartering steam ships.[7] In 1872 Clarksons became shipowners with the acquisition of three schooners.[7]

The company became the world's largest tanker broker in 1929 when Esso appointed Clarksons as its exclusive shipbroker.[6]

The first overseas office opened in New York City in 1954. Offices soon followed in France, Australia and Germany, and in the 1960s, South Africa and Greece.[6] Expansion in the Far East began in the 1990s when companies were established in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.[6]

Carron Greig became joint managing director in 1962, chairman of the shipbroking division from 1972 - 1985, and chairman of the whole group, then known as Horace Clarkson, until his retirement in 1993.[8] He was credited with transforming the group into a world leader in its field.[8] The company became a global force and Greig increased its business, especially with Esso, bringing in Brazil, Norway and the Far East to its portfolio.[8] He also fought off Russian and English corporate raiders in the 1970s.[8]

The company spun off various diversified assets as Shipping Industrial Holdings in 1974.[6]

Michael Wade sat on the board from 1984 to 1993.[9] Peter Parker sat on the board from 1971 until 1993.[9]

Richard Fulford-Smith became chief executive of the company in 2004.[10] According to Robert Wright of the Financial Times, he was central to Clarkson's emergence as the world's largest sale and purchase shipbroker.[10] Fulford-Smith was ousted from the board in 2008 after Russian litigation claims emerged against the company.[11]

Until March 2012, Martin Stopford sat on the board of directors and was head of the research arm of the company.[3][12]

In 2013, Clarkson acquired Gibb Tools, a North Sea oil engineering tools supplier, for £12.7 million.[2]

In 2015, Clarkson acquired RS Platou AS, a Norwegian headed shipbroking and investment banking group.[13]


Clarkson operations are divided into four areas: broking, financial, support and research.[3] The company brokers vessels for some of the world's largest producers and traders of natural resources.[14] Broking constitutes more than 75 percent of company revenue.[3] Clarkson Research Services focuses primarily on the collection, validation, analysis and management of data about the merchant shipping and offshore markets.[3] The chief executive since 2008 has been Andi Case.[15] The company has its headquarters at Commodity Quay, St Katharine Docks, London.[16]


  1. 1 2 3 "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Clarkson. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  2. 1 2 Clarkson PLC Acquisition of Gibb Tools Limited -
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Clarkson. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  4. "Lloyd's List - Top 100 - 61. Andi Case and Martin Stopford, Clarksons". 15 December 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  5. "Clarkson Gains After Saying 2008 Will Beat Estimates (Update3)". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "Our history". Clarksons. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 Shipping Intelligence Network 2005 - Features : Happy 150th Birthday, Horace Anderton Clarkson
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Sir Carron Greig: Shipbroker who turned his company into a world leader in its field". The Independent. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  9. 1 2 "Horace Clarkson rejects buyout". The Independent. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  10. 1 2 Wright, Robert (30 April 2008). "Fulford-Smith forced out by Clarkson board". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  11. Alistair Osborne (6 May 2008). "Clarkson chief made £10m in four years". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  12. "Top 100 Ship Brokers - Shipbroking - Lloyd's List". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  13. Costas Paris (25 November 2014). "Clarkson to Buy Norway's RS Platou for Record $440 Million". WSJ.
  14. "Shipping broker Clarkson sees further rough trading ahead". City A.M. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  15. Andi Case. "Andi Case: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  16. "Mayer Brown advises Clarksons plc on pre-let of St Katharine Docks' Commodity Quay". Mayer Brown. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
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