Vice Chairman of the Baltic Exchange
Trustee of the Lloyds Register Foundation
Managing Director and Global Head of Shipping RBS 1998 to 2014
Lambros Varnavides (LV) was born in London and educated in economics and mathematics at University College London and the London School of Economics. He joined Williams & Glyn's Bank (owned by Royal Bank of Scotland) as the Bank's Shipping Analyst in August 1974 and his whole career has been spent with the RBS Group.
LV gradually gained seniority within the RBS Shipping Division and was appointed to the Bank's Executive team in 1993. By 1998 he had assumed the position of Managing Director and Global Head of Shipping. In the ten years that followed the RBS shipping portfolio expanded tenfold to reach US$25 billion by 2008, with an especially strong position in the Greek shipping market where RBS has remained market leader to this day. During his career LV lent approximately US$100 billion to the international shipping community and he was the longest serving Head of Shipping of any major shipping bank.
In addition to his day job, LV has been active in various other organisations, namely the Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF), the Baltic Exchange and the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights (WCS). LRF is now the largest charity in the UK and owns the Lloyd's Register Group. LV chairs the Grants Committee of LRF which supports science and engineering research at over 40 universities around the world including several in the USA. All of the research sponsored by LRF is for the public good and is made freely available. LRF is also involved in several Greek charities including Helmepa, The Maria Tsakos Trust and a scholarship scheme with the Union of Greek shipowners.
LV is also Vice Chairman of the Baltic Exchange in London which represents the interests of the world's shipping community in London and also provides the indices on which many shipping charters (physical and future) are based. Last but not least LV is a Court Assistant of WCS in London. This is known as a livery company which was one of the ancient trades allowed to practice in the City of London. It is now essentially a charity with Prince Charles as its Permanent Master.
LV retired from RBS on 1st July 2014 after 40 years' service. He has recently written a book on Maritime Economics with Professor Elias Karakitsos of Cambridge University which was published by Macmillan Press also in July 2014. LV will continue with his charity work with LRF and WCS, as well as his industry work with the Baltic Exchange, but he has declined numerous offers to join commercial organisations post retirement.