Phil Goff, starting his career as an apprentice draftsman at a leading UK shipyard, observed how shipyards in periods needed more technical staff that they had, while at other times highly skilled shipyard technicians had too little to do. Seeing a business opportunity in providing temporary staff to shipyards, he started what has become the ICE Group. Initially employing British naval architects and draftsmen to serve UK companies, Phil also won international customers in the petrochemical and offshore oil and gas industries.

A game changer came when Phil in 2003 – in partnership with the Dutch Damen Group – succeeded in acquiring the former Romanian state-owned research institute ICEPRONAV S.A., being privatized through an international bidding process. Realizing that the enlarged Group would need significant investments and a more structured management system to compete for large international design contracts, Phil brought in new partners and in 2004 sold his remaining shares to the present owners of ICE. Damen also sold its shares a few years later.

It was a pleasure welcoming Phil for a very informal visit to our Isle of Man head office before Christmas last year. He is seen here (at the left) together with Robert Swan, ICE Group President & COO (centre) and Steinar Draegebo, ICE Group Chairman and CEO (right).

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