12 February 2021

Tony Klima

Tony Klima

It is with great sadness that the company has been advised that the former Chairman of Clarksons, Tony Klima, died on 14th January 2021.

In the Clarksons Newsletter of December 2012 under the heading of 'Living Legend', Tony was described as 'The Immaculate Ambassador' and that is how those who worked with him will remember him .

He started work in the Legal Department of Esso Petroleum in London in 1949 and after two years National Service in Egypt he returned to the company's Transportation Section. A chance meeting with Clarksons managing director Sandy Glen led to Tony joining the Tanker Department in 1956, headed by Carron Greig and John Curry.

His first big deal, just four weeks after joining Clarksons involved Petrobras and Esso, and in subsequent years Tony concentrated on period charters for Esso and secured exclusivity of that account. He was made director in 1966 and in the same year attended a four month business study course at Harvard, a first for Clarksons. The  Head of Tankers John Curry retired in 1973 and Tony was the natural choice to succeed him. In the same year the biggest deal to date was concluded involving the charter of three 125,000 CBM LNG carriers each for 20 years - the Owner's broker was Birger Gran, Head of Fearnleys, a company with which Clarksons had a close relationship.

An even bigger deal followed - the chartering of 30 tankers of 80,000 dwt each for 10 years involving Birger Gran and Frank Naito of Aall and Company who represented the owner Sanko. Tony, Birger and Frank subsequently concluded innumerable charters in those days of exclusive accounts.

Stylish, elegant, handsome, a perfectionist, always immaculately dressed with a love of fast cars and watches, Tony distinguished himself among his broking colleagues in one other respect: he was virtually teetotal and invariably opted for tonic water, without the traditional accompaniment, when entertaining clients!

Martin Fairley who retired as Company Secretary in 1998, regarded Tony as a wonderful ambassador for Clarksons - 'Tony had such an impressive presence, people immediately stopped talking when he entered a room. He handled board meetings extremely well and knew every aspect of all major deals. He was one of the most professional brokers Clarksons ever had'. He always talked to everyone present and put them at ease.  

Tony was always very keen on Tennis and many colleagues owed the positive result of a doubles match to his very competitive nature even when playing clients! Tennis was his overriding retirement interest as for many years he had played county tennis for Surrey and was a member of Queens Club. He was also a member of the All England Lawn Tennis Club attending every day of the Wimbledon Championship with his wife Fumie, also a keen tennis player. Between 1992 and 2008 Tony either won or was runner up in twenty GB National Veterans single and doubles championships across all surfaces and aged 61 he was ranked 14th in the World's Veterans rankings ( for those aged over 60 ).  Tony and Fumie travelled the world extensively playing tennis.  In 1999 he was elected Chairman of Queens Lawn Tennis Club serving for three years and then they continued to play tennis three or four times a week into his 80's, both competitively and socially.

Tony was and will always be an integral part of Clarksons History.