Mr. Burke has enjoyed a 35-year career in the maritime industry spanning ship operations, finance and ownership. He graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point NY in 1981, serving as a ship's officer for three years aboard US-flag tankers.
Bob returned to shore in 1984 to earn his MBA from Columbia Business School, followed by stints in the commercial department at Marine Transport Lines and as a shipping banker at Bank of New York. He then joined GE Capital in the marine finance group, eventually leading the group as managing director until his departure in 1998.
In 2000 Mr. Burke co-founded Great Circle Capital, a private equity investment group backed by OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) and institutional investors to invest in ports, terminals, offshore oil support and other logistics and transportation businesses. Leaving Great Circle in 2005, Mr. Burke led attempts to acquire several shipping companies, culminating with the purchase of Chembulk, a twenty vessel fleet of stainless steel chemical tankers. Mr Burke served as CEO of Chembulk from the date of acquisition until the sale of the business in early 2008 to BLT of Indonesia.
Mr. Burke currently serves as CEO of Ridgebury Tankers, a portfolio company of Riverstone Holdings. Established in April 2013 with an initial equity commitment of $206 million, Ridgebury is in the process of acquiring and managing a modern fleet of refined products and crude tankers in anticipation of a recovery in the shipping market.
Bob lives in Ridgefield, CT with his wife Lessley and their two children, Lindsley (15) and John (11).