USTC completes ownership circle with appointment of Head of Corporate Governance
Mia Østergaard Nielsen will return to the parent group when she takes over as Head of Corporate Governance at United Shipping and Trading Company (USTC) on 1 September 2021. She has been a member of the board of Bunker Holding since 2018 and in 2020 further joined the boards of USTC and Uni-Tankers. The employment is a long-planned next step into the development of the family business. The position as Head of Corporate Governance is a natural extension of the growth journey that USTC has been on in recent years, among other things through acquisitions of companies such as CM Biomass and FREJA Transport & Logistics.
The group has grown considerably in recent years, which places higher demands on working more strategically with management based on family values. Mia Østergaard Nielsen, 31, is the daughter of founder Torben Østergaard-Nielsen, and her entry into the company underlines the strong family ownership in the global group, where all three owners are now actively involved. Sister Nina Østergaard Borris, 37, was employed in the group’s largest unit, Bunker Holding from 2014-2020, before she was appointed Chief Operating Officer of USTC in 2020 with overall responsibility for business optimization and business development.
“It is a great personal satisfaction that the family ownership is now gathered in an active and committed management of the group. There is no doubt that Mia’s accession completes the circle, and I look forward to working with both of my daughters to further develop USTC. They both have some very forward-looking ideas and thoughts, and I know that together we will form a strong alliance. Mia has spent valuable time outside the company and through her external experience she has built up competencies that can strengthen USTC,” says Torben Østergaard-Nielsen.
Mia Østergaard Nielsen comes from a position as Associate at the consulting house Spencer Stuart, where she has been recruiting top management. She has also previously worked at PwC in their Executive Education department. Mia has worked and studied in both London and Singapore and has an educational background in HR from CBS. At USTC, she will be responsible for strengthening the strategic framework for top management and will not least ensure a strong footprint from the parent company across the group’s entities. Among other things, she will ensure that the profile requirements for c-suite positions in the group are in line with the strategic objective and the DNA of the owner family, and that the various boards continue to have the optimal composition
As part of the updated governance structure, USTC will put further focus on the sustainability agenda in the future. Here, the task will be to participate constructively in the development within sustainability to create a basis for increased efforts and future work with both USTC and the group’s subsidiaries on ESG initiatives. “Becoming a full member of the active ownership of USTC has long been on the cards, and it is a great privilege to help lead USTC into an exciting future. At the same time, I am humbled by the task and am fully aware that I am still a young leader who has a lot to learn. But with the family values running in my veins and my many years of close work with the USTC boards, I am ready to work with the many talented colleagues in the group,” says Mia Østergaard. The new Head of Corporate Governance will report directly to CEO and owner Torben Østergaard-Nielsen.
United Shipping & Trading Company (USTC) is present in more than 30 countries through its worldwide portfolio of activities that include oil & energy, shipping & logistics, ship owning, risk management, and IT. USTC was founded in Fredericia, Denmark, in 1876. Today, the family-owned group consists of wellknown companies like Bunker Holding, SDK FREJA, Uni-Tankers, Selected Car Group and Unit IT covering approximately 130 offices and occupying around 3,500 employees combined worldwide. USTC, which has been headquartered in Middelfart since 1981, has an equity of more than DKK 3 billion with sales of DKK 76 billion in the most recent financial year.”