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When If and Sampo merged their property and casualty (P&C) operations, Sampo's Marine and Energy activities were integrated into If's Marine and Energy division. As a result, on 1st January 2003 the management of the Finnish part of the former Sampo Marine operation was handed over to Gard Services. Upon Gard Services obtaining 100 per cent of the shares of Oy Baltic Protection (at the time its P&I correspondents) at the beginning of 2003, the company was renamed Oy Gard Services (Baltic). At the same time, the Finnish personnel and the Marine insurance activities of If P&C were transferred to the new subsidiary of Gard Services. The company, which is divided into P&I and Marine, operates from premises in Helsinki, Finland. As a fully integrated subsidiary, Gard Services (Baltic) is active on P&I and Marine business lines.

The P&I division serves as a full service office responsible for Gard Services' market activities in Finland as well as claims handling, defence and legal advice to shipowners and charterers entered with Gard. The office also serves as Gard Services' correspondent in Finland.

The Marine division markets and provides a full range of services in connection with Hull and Machinery, disbursements, war, loss of hire and newbuilding insurance coverages.

The current portfolio generates an annual premium of approximately USD 40 million made up of mainly Scandinavian and Baltic but also Dutch and German tonnage connected to Finnish interests and trade.

Roberto Lencioni
Roberto is a qualified Finnish lawyer, with an LLM from the University of Helsinki. Since 1st January 2003 he has been Managing Director of Oy Gard Services (Baltic). He was a founder member of Oy Baltic Protection together with Matti Temmes in 1989. Prior to that, he worked for a Helsinki-based stock-listed conglomerate, the ASPO Group, in different positions, including company lawyer and secretary of the Board. He was a partner and member of the Board of Oy Baltic Protection from 1990 until 2002. In addition, he was Managing Director, Partner and Member of the Board of Oy Baltic Insurance Brokers from 1994 until 2001.

The P&I division
Saila Hiirsalmi

Saila is a qualified Finnish lawyer, with an LLM from the University of Helsinki. She joined Baltic Protection in September 1998 as a Claims Adjuster. Prior to that she worked in a local District Court and in law firms in both Helsinki and London (Clyde & Co). Saila works as Claims Manager/Lawyer in the P&I claims department with a special focus on dry cargo and personal injury claims.

Ulrika Larpes
Ulrika is a qualified Finnish lawyer, with LLM degrees from the University of Helsinki and the University of Lund. She also has a degree from the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law in Oslo. She joined Baltic Protection in February 2001 as a Claims Adjuster. Prior to that, from 1990 to 2000, she worked for the shipping unit at the Ministry of Transport and Communications and for a commercial law firm in Helsinki. Ulrika holds the position of Claims Executive/Lawyer with emphasis on liquid cargo and defence matters.

Hilkka Lehtonen
Hilkka obtained her Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Rovaniemi in 1987. She also has a Certificate in Administrative Law. She joined Baltic Protection in 1995 as a Claims Adjuster. Prior to that she worked for commercial law offices in Helsinki and Africa and for the Traffic Safety Association. At Gard Hilkka handles all types of P&I claims, with emphasis on dry cargo, crew and passenger claims. Hilkka holds the position of Claims Executive.

Taru Natri
Taru obtained her BBA from Häme Polytechnic in 2002. She joined Baltic Protection in April 2000 as an Assistant. Taru holds the position of Underwriting Assistant and has the overall responsibility for IT and office service functions in Helsinki.

The Marine division
Tuomo Rantaniemi

Tuomo is a Master Mariner. After several years at sea, in 1974 he was employed by Fennia Insurance as a Marine Surveyor/Claims Manager. In 1984 he joined Finnish Marine/Sampo as a Marine Surveyor/Claims Manager. From 1994 he worked for Industrial Insurance, Sampo Marine and the If P&C Insurance as Underwriter. Since 1st January 2003 Tuomo has worked as Senior Underwriter/Manager in Gard Services (Baltic).

Ilkka Maunula
Ilkka has also served at sea for several years in different positions, the latest being Chief Officer with Finnlines. He holds a Master's Certificate. After serving at sea for shipping companies such as Bore Shipowners and Finnlines, he was employed by If P&C Insurance in August 2002 as a Marine Hull Underwriter/Surveyor. Since 1st January 2003 he has held the position of Underwriter.

Aleksandrs Abuzjarovs
Aleksandrs, who has university degrees in navigation and shipping from the Maritime Academy of Latvia and a marine insurance and claims handling certificate from the Makarov State Maritime Academy in St. Petersburg, joined Sampo Latvia in 1999 as a Marine Underwriter and as the Head of the Marine insurance department. He moved to If Marine & Energy in Helsinki in 2001. He has experience as Deck Officer's assistant with the Latvian Shipping Company and, before joining Sampo, also worked for the Euro Baltic Insurance Brokers. Currently he holds the position of Underwriter.

Anne-Maj Gustafsson
Anne-Maj has worked with Marine insurance for more than three decades. She holds a degree in Domestic Economy and has also passed the Insurance Exam at the Finnish Insurance Training Centre in Helsinki. She joined Finnish Marine in 1973, where she held positions in several units, but mainly in the Marine department. She currently works as Assistant Underwriter and is also in charge of the accounting system at the Helsinki office.

Horst Bierlich
Horst, who is a qualified Swedish lawyer with an LLM in Maritime Law from the University of Lund and a degree from the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law in Oslo, joined If P&C Insurance Ltd in June 2002 as a Claims Manager in the Marine and Energy department. Prior to that, from 1990 to 2000 he worked for the Swedish Club in Sweden, Hong Kong and Piraeus, dealing with both Hull and Machinery and P&I matters. Before joining If, he also worked for Poseidon Average Adjusters in Piraeus, Greece. Currently he holds the position of Senior Manager, Claims.

Björn Lundberg
Björn holds a Certificate from the Tampere Commercial College and has also passed the Insurance Exam at the Finnish Insurance Training Centre in Helsinki. He joined Sampo Marine department in 1967 and Finnish Marine/Industrial Insurance Ltd in 1993. Through the years he has worked with claims adjusting within Hull insurance and currently holds the position of Claims Adjuster.

Henry Hemtman
Henry, who holds an MSc from the Helsinki Business School, joined If P&C Insurance in October 2001 as a Claims Adjuster. Prior to that he worked within banking and marketing of gas services within the AGA Group, where he held various positions for almost two decades, including Product Manager and Planning and Budget Manager.

Martin Jansson
Martin, who is a naval architect, joined If P&C Insurance in June 2002. Prior to that he worked at the Marine division of the Sampo Insurance company as a yacht, transport and vehicle Surveyor. He has also worked at Finnish Loss Survey Ltd as the yacht Surveyor and Product Manager for yacht surveys. Currently he holds the position of Surveyor.

Marja-Liisa Ylismaa
Marja-Liisa joined Sampo in 1967 and has worked with various Marine insurance products. She has also passed the Insurance Exam at the Finnish Insurance Training Centre in Helsinki. In 1971 she joined the Marine Department as Underwriting Assistant and in 1993 she joined Finnish Marine/Industrial Insurance Ltd. Currently she holds the position of Underwriting Support.

Camilla Ölander
Camilla joined Finnish Marine in 1974 as Office Support dealing with tasks related to insurance and reinsurance. She joined the Reinsurance Department in 1984 and from 1993 up to 2002 she worked at Industrial Insurance Ltd. Currently she works as Underwriting Support.

Any comments to this article can be e-mailed to the Gard News Editorial Team.

Gard News is published quarterly by Gard Services AS, Arendal, Norway.