Two Minutes with Daniel Woodrow, Senior Analyst, Infospectrum - Oxford

Two Minutes with Daniel Woodrow, Senior Analyst, Infospectrum - Oxford

This month, we spoke we to Daniel Woodrow, a Senior Analyst at Infospectrum’s Oxford office. He shares with us his take on working at Infospectrum, and the challenges faced by the shipping industry at the moment.

 

Upon leaving university, Daniel worked for a Japanese ship owner in Brazil. He then moved into shipbroking in the offshore segment before completing his MBA in Rio de Janeiro, and joined Infospectrum in 2016.

 

“I’m a Senior Analyst, covering the maritime and commodity trading sectors in Brazil and the Americas and the offshore market as a whole, although I also look into other sectors of the industry as and when required,” explains Daniel. “I draw upon my ship broking experience, as the Analyst role requires that I closely monitor developments in all market segments, not least dry bulk and tankers.”

 

Daniel’s role isn’t just working as an Analyst though. “I am also one of the mentors in the company. Once initial training has been completed by our training manager, Keith, it’s my responsibility to help new Analysts become comfortable in their role, and support them with any questions they have about their research and reporting.”

 

One of Daniel’s favourite things about working at Infospectrum is that every day he is looking at something new. “I’m always researching different companies in different sectors or markets, which keeps things extremely interesting. I’m an inquisitive individual and I enjoy the challenge of a varied role where no day is ever quite the same. It’s also a friendly environment to work in. When we’re in the office, we have discussions around the industry, although since the start of the pandemic, this has been over Microsoft Teams instead. It’s great, because we are constantly brainstorming ideas and exchanging information, so there’s an element of learning and widening your knowledge.”

 

Being an Analyst at Infospectrum is not without its challenges though, as Daniel explains. “The market is constantly changing, even overnight, which keeps us on our toes. For example, the price of oil has a significant effect in offshore and in tankers (and sometimes in opposite directions!). Even something as simple as high rainfall affecting a harvest, or the navigability of a river, can have significant knock-on effects. There are so many variables, and there are often new changes in the industry that need to be implemented on both a company and a sector level.”

 

Daniel highlights one of the biggest changes since his career in shipping started: “I’ve seen a growing awareness of the importance of companies doing their due diligence and KYC checks. The Lava-Jato/Carwash corruption investigation in Brazil is a good example of this. There is increased willingness towards being transparent, on the one hand, and doing one’s own due diligence on counterparties, on the other.”

 

“Inquisitive” is how Daniel would describe himself in one word. “This obviously helps when researching companies for my reports, when I’m digging through financial statements, or talking to market contacts to get the information required.”

 

For those looking to enter the industry for their career, Daniel says: “Shipping is a very diverse and exciting industry, but it is also very volatile. Poor markets can be very challenging and good markets can be very rewarding. It’s a place that rewards patience, so you need to be happy to wait for things to happen. It also helps if you learn as much as you can about your market and your counterparties.”

 

The people in the shipping industry are all facing challenges at the moment, but they are specific to each sector. However, for Daniel’s specialty, the offshore market, the current problem is with the oversupply of tonnage. “There are too many ships in the market and not enough demand, something we covered in our Covid-19 Mid-Way Point report at the end of last year. The call to reduce carbon emissions will also be an enormous challenge to the shipping industry as a whole. Large companies are pushing for net zero emissions, not just internally, but also in their supply chain going forward. As a result, I expect to see growing demand for decarbonisation due diligence in the near future.”

 

We moved onto talking about networking and events Daniel would recommend attending. “I try to keep in touch with my contacts in Brazil as much as possible, and I also attend the Shipping Week event in London, the Infospectrum Forum, and the IBIA annual convention. I also look forward to attending the Nor Shipping event in Norway next year, when hopefully events will reopen.”

 

Due to the pandemic, Daniel misses being able to go out sailing, a pursuit he enjoys in his spare time outside of work. “The local reservoir where I normally go sailing is closed at the moment, but I am looking forward to getting back out on the water later this year. In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of DIY around the house!”

 

 

 

Infospectrum has the largest Databank of shipping and commodities risk appraisal reports in the industry. View our latest reports by clicking this link