The J. Lauritzen DNA
For many years, Bent Østergaard has been part of a company not afraid to venture into new opportunities. As Chairman of J. Lauritzen's board of directors, he has seen the organisation successfully develop, consolidate, and sell many diverse business areas.
One of J. Lauritzen’s (JL) core values is ‘entrepreneurship’ and this is truly reflected in the history of the company and its ability to face challenges by seeing opportunities. During Bent Østergaard’s career, which spans 45 years with JL, he has seen this core value in action. Diverse business areas have been explored and business opportunities seized, enabling the company to deliver competitive and reliable services around the world. “Because we have been able to grow various different business activities, we have also had the possibility to sell some of our business units, putting us in a much better position than we might otherwise have been in. Now we are ready for growth again and in fact we already have a sizeable order book,” explains Bent Østergaard.
New markets, new opportunities
Even in Bent Østergaard’s early days at JL, the company demonstrated its willingness to go after different markets and follow opportunities. In 1973, JL entered the bulk business when it acquired the bulk carrier, Silja Dan. “It was a new and very exciting time,” says Bent Østergaard. “In the 1970’s, JL did a lot of research and realised it was a good time to enter the bulk market. We had quite a number of bulk carriers through to the 1990s. In 1993, when I came to the holding company, the bulk market grew a lot,” he explains. The bulk activities have since evolved considerably and Lauritzen Bulkers is today JL’s largest business area, specialising in transporting dry cargo.