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Q & A with Michael Ita, Commercial Manager – Shipping

Q & A with Michael Ita, Commercial Manager – Shipping

We sat down with Michael Ita, Commercial Manager – Shipping, to find out what day-to-day life looks like, what significant milestones he has had at Vortexa, and what he really thinks of our company culture…

11 February, 2022
Jessica Irvin
Jessica Irvin, Head of Operations & People

Michael is a Commercial Manager – Shipping, based in the London office, responsible for realising the ambitious growth plans in the shipping industry.

Prior to joining Vortexa, Michael worked at ExxonMobil, as a Freight Trader.

Fun Fact: Growing up as part of the only half Nigerian and half Polish family in a town of 100,000 people, Michael found passion in discovering cultural diversity – travelling across 70 countries and counting!

We wanted to find out what Michael keeps an eye out for when searching for new hires, how he sums up our company culture and what day-to-day life as Commercial Manager – Shipping really looks like?


What inspired you to join Vortexa?

For centuries, the human voice was the main mechanism for executing a trade. This couldn’t be more true than in the “physical trading” space I have been accustomed to. Given the data revolution that’s been taking place in the energy markets, I could not pass on the opportunity to influence that paradigm shift and unlock new value for market participants. It was a journey I simply could not miss.

 

”…At Vortexa, you truly feel like part of a team that is inclusive and supportive of your needs, goals and aspirations. The culture at Vortexa tends to have a strong nuclear force exerted upon you…

 

What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your role?

It is the ability to generate tangible value across organisations that make up the energy markets today and the ability to help them navigate the unknowns of tomorrow.

 

What have been some significant milestone moments for you at Vortexa?

Given my chartering interests, I must say that the successful launch of Freight Analytics and Freight Pricing were significant milestones. Though, it’s even more exciting to know what lies ahead on our Vortexa journey this year.

 

What does day-to-day life look like for you as Commercial Manager – Shipping?

Typically, I start my day with getting energy and freight market updates. Our freight team meets on a regular basis in the morning, discussing various client engagements and product enhancement we plan to prioritise on our roadmaps. I spend a good part of the day collaborating across various teams to provide my own thoughts as well as market feedback in order to advance our product offering tailored to the shipping & trading communities.

My day-to-day focus is on the expansion of Vortexa’s client base. This includes listening to prospective clients’ needs, market views and advising them on how to best excel in a fiercely competitive space with the help of data analytics. In addition, I make a point to reserve time to link my daily activities to the overall freight strategy that feeds into Vortexa commercial vision.

 

”…Another core area of focus is expansion of Vortexa’s client base. This includes listening to prospective clients’ needs, market views and advising them on how to best excel in a fiercely competitive space with the help of data analytics.”

 

What key qualities do you look for in candidates hoping to join your team?

I keep an eye out for a quick learner who has an entrepreneurial and competitive spirit that thrives in the face of a challenge. A collaborator with a can-do attitude and a curious mind that is ready to expand!

 

How would you describe the culture at Vortexa?

At Vortexa, you truly feel like part of a team that is inclusive and supportive of your needs, goals and aspirations. The culture at Vortexa tends to have a strong nuclear force exerted upon you and this was certainly the case for me even before I joined the company.

Describe your working life at Vortexa in three words?

Exciting, entrepreneurial and rewarding.

Jessica Irvin
Head of Operations & People
Vortexa
Jessica Irvin
Jessica is Head of People & Operations at Vortexa and is responsible for hiring, learning & development, culture, engagement, performance management and leading expansion plans.