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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 £237.9 million (2014)[1]
£33.3 million (2014)[1]
£17.2 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
1,033 (2014)
Website .com.clarksonswww

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 35 offices in 15 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 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]


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.[13] 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.[14]

The company has its headquarters at St Katharine Docks, London.[15]


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  2. ^ a b Clarkson PLC Acquisition of Gibb Tools Limited -
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  7. ^ a b c Shipping Intelligence Network 2005 - Features : Happy 150th Birthday, Horace Anderton Clarkson
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