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The Aegean board U-turn: From founder's son to shareholder group nominees in 71 days

How Aegean went from almost incorporating Melissanidis's son and HEC's CEO to adding vocal shareholder group nominees instead.

U-turn: Tyler Baron, Raymond Bartoszek and Donald Moore have joined Aegean's board of directors after all being nominated for election by The Committee for Aegean Accountability in January. Image credit: Pixabay

Updated on 03 May 2018 12:14 GMT

As Bunker Index reported on Wednesday, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. revealed the names of three people that will serve as independent directors on its board: Tyler Baron, Raymond Bartoszek, and Donald Moore.

As a result the changes, the bunker firm's board of directors now comprises seven people, six of which are independent directors.

The incorporations come just over two months - or exactly 71 days - since Aegean entered into an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding share capital of H.E.C. Europe Ltd (HEC) - a business owned and controlled by Aegean's founder and former Head of Corporate Development, Dimitris Melissanidis, in addition to certain members of his family and the Agiostratitis family.

As part of the deal, Aegean had entered into an investor rights agreement in which it looked set to appoint four other directors, including Dimitris Melissanidis's son George and HEC's CEO Darren Laguea.

However, following the HEC accord, three shareholders of Aegean (Tyler Baron, Justin Moore and August Roth) formed the company RBM Holdings, transferred control of their shares in Aegean to RBM, and the firm subsequently filed a lawsuit against Aegean and board members George Konomos, Yannis Papanicolaou, Spyridon Fokas and Konstantinos Koutsomitopoulos on March 8, claiming the HEC acquisition was "structured for the benefit of insiders at the expense of the plaintiff and other minority shareholders".

Towards the end of March, Aegean and RBM took the first step towards conciliation when they agreed to enter into negotiations to try and resolve their differences. Then, on March 27, the deadline date expired for the approval of Aegean's share purchase agreement with HEC stakeholders, and key demands of RMB and a group of long-term Aegean shareholders named 'The Committee for Aegean Accountability' were seemingly being met.

The decision to incorporate Committee for Aegean Accountability leader Tyler Baron, plus Raymond Bartoszek and Donald Moore into Aegean's board of directors would appear to be a victory for the shareholder group.

Back in January, they were three of the four independent candidates nominated by The Committee for Aegean Accountability for election to the firm's board of directors at the 2018 annual meeting of shareholders - together with David Kirshner, chairman and CEO of Axeon Specialty Products.

Who are Baron, Bartoszek and Moore?

Tyler Baron

Tyler Baron has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services and investment management industry. Since 2012, he has been the Portfolio Manager and Managing Partner of Sentinel Rock Capital - a hedge fund that applies an absolute value-oriented strategy across long/short investment opportunities expressed in small and mid-capitalization equities and debt.

Back in 2001, he joined the restructuring group as an analyst at Peter J. Solomon Company, a boutique investment bank, providing advisory services to debtors and creditor groups undergoing debt restructurings.

Baron started his investing career in 2003 as an analyst at CBI Capital, a long/short hedge fund based in New York City. From 2006 to 2011, he was a Partner at Spring Point Capital - a $1.5B hedge fund based in San Francisco - initially as an analyst and then managing research for the long portfolio as well as becoming one of the largest equity partners at the firm.

Baron attended the University of California at Berkeley and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Haas School of Business in 2001.

Raymond Bartoszek

Raymond Bartoszek has over 20 years' experience as an oil trader specializing in the supply of marine bunker fuels to global shipping companies, first at Texaco and then at Glencore Ltd.

While at Glencore Ltd. he held a number of senior management positions including Managing Director and head of its oil department where he managed a global team and portfolio of assets. Bartoszek was one of the firm's directors leading up to its IPO in 2011.

Following his time at Glencore, Mr. Bartoszek started a family office called RLB Holdings. He currently serves on the board of several private companies and is a limited partner of the New York Yankees. He is also the Managing Partner of Horseheads Sand and Transloading Terminal, an energy terminal that supplies well operations in the Marcellus Shale.

Bartoszek holds a M.B.A. with a focus in International Business from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Dual-Major B.S. degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Donald Moore

Donald Moore has over 40 years' experience in the financial services industry at Morgan Stanley, most recently as Chairman of Morgan Stanley Group (Europe) from 2000 to 2016, and as Global Chairman of the Financial Institutions Group from 2013-2016.

He has been involved in over 500 billion euros ($552 billion) worth of transactions throughout Europe, working closely with governments, institutions and corporations on strategic issues, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings and equity financings.

Prior to moving to Europe in 1997, Moore worked on over 120 transactions, spanning 22 years in New York, including several landmark banking transactions such as Citicorp's restructuring and recapitalization in 1990.

In 1995, Moore was appointed by the US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to serve on the U.S. Treasury Advisory Council on Financial Institutions. He has served as a trustee and board member of a number of organizations including: Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery (London), the London Symphony Orchestra, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London).

Moore attended the London School of Economics and holds a B.A. with Honours from Pomona College and a M.B.A. from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

New board of directors

Yannis N. Papanicolaou - Director

Spyridon Fokas - Director

George J. Konomos - Director

Konstantinos Koutsomitopoulos - Director

Tyler Baron - Director

Raymond Bartoszek - Director

Donald Moore - Director

Related Links:

Aegean reaches settlement with RBM to dismiss litigation, appoints three board members
Aegean confirms expiration of HEC share purchase agreement
Aegean and RBM to try and resolve their differences in HEC case
HEC overview and reasons for Aegean acquisition
Aegean buys Melissanidis-owned firms; founder's group to become biggest shareholder
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