James Fisher Offshore makes strides in the Netherlands    

The company appoints its first Netherlands-based employee, business development manager, Richard van der Tuin, who discusses his role and plans to forge lasting partnerships with Dutch stakeholders.    


Can you tell us a bit more about you?    

I joined the company in February as a business development manager based in the Netherlands to strengthen our existing relationships with our Dutch clientele. It's much more beneficial to be closer to your clients, have knowledge of their first language and produce content locally.   

Before joining the company, I spent seven years working in the offshore marine environment where I used many of the same tools in JFO’s arsenal. I’ve also spent 20 years working in the oil and gas industry. 

I've always travelled around the world for work purposes and with the full support of my family. Currently we are living in the Netherlands where I’ve been working for five years. Prior to my time in the Netherlands, I’ve also lived and worked in Singapore, Malaysia, Romania, Aberdeen, Alaska, Oklahoma, Germany and Azerbaijan, where for each one of these postings I lived for between two-four years.   


What brought you to JFO?    

Having previously had contact with JFO as a client, when I saw the business development opportunity come up, I found the criteria perfectly fitted my location here in the Netherlands, my ability to travel for work purposes and my knowledge of the offshore environment. I’d always had a pleasant work relationship with JFO, as they possess a can-do attitude, maintain a great culture of acquiring companies and offer a positive atmosphere.     

The whole intent of having me in the Netherlands was because a lot of our clients are Netherlands based, and in light of COVID-19, it became more difficult than ever to travel between countries to meet with clients. It's always good to be local as it would have taken a day to visit clients in the past, whereas for me it only takes half an hour which is much more convenient.   


How have you found settling into the company / role?    

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic there have been some effects, such as not having the opportunity to meet with colleagues face-to-face. However, as I’ve always been destined to work remotely - with JFO currently not having an office based in the Netherlands - COVID-19 levelled the playing field for me and meant I could benefit from the rest of the group having to use remote tools too. I really enjoyed being involved in activities such as Teams coffee mornings with colleagues. 

Although I've not met any of my colleagues face-to-face yet, everyone is friendly and helpful.   


I’m aware you’re JFO’s first Netherlands-based employee. Tell us what offering the company has there?   

A large number of our biggest clients are subsea / heavy lift contractors based in the Netherlands. Our true tier 1 operator clients are all in the Netherlands, and that’s why it's important to hold a permanent basis here to forge better relationships with them. 

We are also looking into additional expansion opportunities with other Netherlands-based companies that operate in the renewable and marine sectors.   


How do you see JFO’s services progressing across Europe over the next 6-12 months?   

JFO are really busy in the renewables and oil and gas markets and possess a whole arsenal of tools applicable to decommissioning, which is one of my key drivers. There is certainly a large market of offshore platforms that will need to be decommissioned in the near future.    

Secondly, is the renewables wave which is primarily wind focused. There are huge offshore wind farms (OWF) being built across the Netherlands and the North Sea, and the growth of the wind market here holds quite a telling story of just how much it’s due to increase over the course of the next 10-30 years. 

Decommissioning has more of a focus for us currently and well into the foreseeable future, however renewables is the market in which we will be working with well into the next 30 years. I meet with JF Renewables every week to focus on any new developments and opportunities we see in the renewables market.  


What are you most looking forward to in your role with the company?   

My first focus is navigating out of COVID-19, where I can then focus on travelling to meet with clients and also get to know my colleagues face-to-face and discuss future business.    

Further to that, I’m looking forward to getting more involved in the renewables market and developing tools in that area. In true business development fashion, it's not just about finding where the market is going, but also where the technology needs to be.