The appointment sees Steliou, who is also managing director of Mintra’s operations in Cyprus, join the company’s senior management team. His role will be focused on target identification, proposition evaluation, deal completion and integration.
Mintra launched its IPO in October 2020 and at that time outlined its strategy to accelerate further growth – particularly within new industries and geographic sectors – through a programme of M&A. It bought the maritime competence management specialist Safebridge in February this year, doubling the size of its sector-specific technical and competence eLearning titles and growing the system user base to over 2 million worldwide. It intends to add at least one further company to its portfolio by the end of 2021.
Scott Kerr, CEO of Mintra, said the creation of a role with specific remit for M&A demonstrated the company’s commitment to delivering on its growth pledge. He added, “Our acquisitions of OCS HR in 2016, Atlas Knowledge in 2018 and Safebridge in 2021 illustrate our ambitions of becoming the preeminent provider of digital learning and HCM software to safety-critical industries the world over. However, growth is not always about physical scale. It is vitally important that our acquisition targets add real value to our customers and meet our aim of creating competent and compliant workforces in industries where safety is critical to life, assets and the environment. In appointing Valentinos to this role we are signalling our very clear intent to deliver on our ambitious five-year growth plan, moving into new industries and new geographic territories, and utilising new technologies.”
Steliou previously held the post of product manager at Safebridge and has been a key member of the integration team. He has a strong track record in business development and business modelling, with extensive knowledge of technology applications for the shipping industry. “I share Mintra’s view that acquisitions should not be undertaken with the sole aim of growing the company. Our focus will be to find the right type of business to join the Mintra family: we want to provide value to our customers and the industries we serve while bringing their biggest asset – their workforce – further into the digital era,” explained Steliou. “It is essential that we collaborate with companies that demonstrate synergies with Mintra and that share our passion for innovative solution-based products, ultimately enhancing our customer offering across all segments.”
Steliou believes that while the maritime sector was known to be more traditional in its outlook, the Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated its adoption of digital solutions and this had created new opportunities for technology partners. He added: “The pandemic has forced the pace of the sector’s journey towards digital maturity and there is now a much greater understanding of the crucial role that technology will play in the ongoing development of the industry. Heritage and tradition will always be extremely important to the maritime community and rightly so, but this forced evolution will pay dividends for all those involved, from operators to seafarers. It’s an exciting time for the industry and Mintra is at the epicentre of it.”