Maria Angelicoussis may not be a household name, but she is a legend in the maritime industry, and a world-renowned philanthropist, especially in the fields of health and education. Despite her immense success and influence, she remains largely private and unassuming. In this article, we delve into ten intriguing aspects you may not have known about this fascinating character.

1. Child of a Shipping Magnate

Maria Angelicoussis is the daughter of legendary Greek shipping magnate, the late Anthony V. Angelicoussis. She grew up embedded in the industry and has carried on her father’s legacy in a profound way. Following in her father’s footsteps, she has become one of the few women to have broken cultural and social barriers to rise to the top of the maritime world.

The Angelicoussis Shipping Group Limited (ASGL) has been since its inception a private company, and Maria’s father expanded its shipping activities from dry bulk carriers to include oil tankers and, more recently, LNG carriers in the previous decades. This foundational knowledge and being around the industry from a young age is what laid the groundwork for Maria’s successful career.

2. Education and Professional Path

Maria Angelicoussis studied economics at Cambridge University. After graduating, she went on to earn an MBA from Columbia University. With the intention of progressing into the shipping industry, she also took a course at the City of London Polytechnic, where she specialised in shipping. Afterwards, she joined the family business.

Before stepping into the role of President of Angelicoussis Shipping Group, Maria held many various positions within the company. Beginning her career as a maritime lawyer, Maria’s journey from the legal department to the helm of her father’s empire showcased her tenacity and leadership skills.

3. First Woman to Head a Greek Shipping Firm

Against all odds, in a male-dominated industry, Maria became the first female to head a Greek shipping firm. It was a groundbreaking achievement that solidified Maria’s place as one of the industry’s truly pioneering figures.

Maria Angelicoussis’s rise to the top of the company was not without its challenges. She had to fight against gender bias within the industry and made it her goal to mentor other women who aspired to follow her path. By setting such an example, she has broken barriers and opened doors for future generations of women in shipping.

4. Philanthropic Efforts

Under Maria’s leadership, Angelicoussis Shipping Group has undertaken various philanthropic activities. One of the most notable is the Maria’s Hope initiative, which provides assistance and bills payment to seafarers’ families.

Additionally, the group funds scholarships and supports various Greek charities and organizations through the Anthony V. Angelicoussis Foundation. Maria’s role in steering these philanthropic efforts ensures the Angelicoussis legacy isn’t just about successful shipping operations, but also about giving back to society.

5. Recognition and Awards

As a testament to her trailblazing role in the shipping industry, Maria Angelicoussis has received several awards and recognitions. She was named as one of the 100 most influential people in shipping by Lloyd’s List. Furthermore, she was awarded the 2017 Seafarers’ House International Golden Compass Award for her philanthropy and leadership in the maritime world.

This recognition is substantial as it underlines not just her professional success, but also how she uses her position to make a tangible positive impact on the world. Her leadership and vision continue to inspire and make a difference within the industry and beyond.

6. Art Enthusiast

Maria is also known to be a lover of art. She has an expansive private collection of Greek and European art that showcases a wide array of styles, periods and artistic movements. Her love for art showcases her deep appreciation for culture and refined aesthetic sensibilities.

She has often shared that her art collection tells more about the artists’ visions than her own choices and likings, showing her profound respect and understanding for the creative process. This passion for art has led to various philanthropic contributions in the cultural sector as well.

7. Personal Life

Maria Angelicoussis prefers a relatively private life, away from the public eye. Known for her inherent shyness, she evades the glitz and glamour which usually accompanies such a level of success. Instead, she focuses her attentiveness on her family and business, embodying a neat blend of business acumen, committed philanthropy, and profound humility.

Despite her success, she’s determined to maintain a sense of normalcy, which is perhaps why she’s often seen as approachable, warm, and deeply connected to those she leads—attributes not often associated with heads of multi-billion dollar enterprises.

8. Landmark Deal with DNV GL

Under Maria Angelicoussis, the company made a landmark deal in 2019 to digitize their fleet vessels with the classification society, Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL). This step aimed at paving the way to increase efficiency and safety on board ships through the digital class program.

This significant technological advancement set Angelicoussis Shipping Group as an innovation leader in the industry. The partnership with DNV GL demonstrates the group’s commitment to leveraging technology to improve maritime operations, further cementing Maria’s prowess in leading the industry forward.

9. Chronic Illness Advocate

Maria was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age and has since been a vocal advocate for individuals living with chronic illnesses. As part of her philanthropic initiatives, Maria has often financed research related to rheumatoid arthritis and other rare diseases.

Maria’s experiences with her illness have shaped her understanding and compassion for others facing a similar plight. Her advocacy work and determination against her personal struggles have transformed her into a source of inspiration for many.

10. Maria’s Hope

“Maria’s Hope” is a welfare project initiated to provide assistance to the families of seafarers who lost their lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The program covers a whole range of needs from education, health, housing, to the dignity of individuals.

Not only has it provided families with a lifeline but it has also given Maria immense respect within the industry. It’s a shining testament to her belief in social responsibility and a concrete example of how she leverages her business for the broader good.

To know more about Maria Angelicoussis and the Angelicoussis Shipping Group, feel free to visit these resources:

Angelicoussis Shipping Group – Team
Maria’s Hope Initiative