New CEO for Paramount Maritime Holdings


Paramount Group has appointed Lee Connolly as the new CEO of Paramount Maritime Holdings, replacing James Fisher, who had served in the role since 2017.

Connolly was previously the CEO of Paramount Advanced Technologies, Paramount said in a statement. Maritime experience includes 24 years in the SA Navy, where he served as a captain.

“It is a privilege and honour to be selected for this role,” Connolly said. “I am very passionate about the maritime and naval industries and spent many years cutting my teeth in this sector, making this a logical step in my professional journey. Undertaking this transition from within the Paramount family is a great advantage, enabling me to continue working with the best in the business.

“I want to thank James Fisher (founder of Nautic Africa) for his many years of inspirational leadership, from the early days of founding the business to building such an innovative and admired company that we have today. I am very pleased that James will continue to support us and invest his passion and experience into the business, in his important and future strategic role.”

Paramount Maritime Holdings, comprising ship builders Nautic Africa and Veecraft Marine, has reported ongoing customer demands in the security vessel sector due to the myriad of maritime threats which today challenge the trajectory of Africa’s blue economies. This has been driven largely by a change in existing customer requirements, from service to security vessels.

“Demand has remained strong from our customers operating in the commodities markets (e.g. oil and gas and offshore renewables), with particular regard to those based in the Gulf of Guinea. This region represented over 90% of maritime conflicts around the world in 2020. Further growth is expected from within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), where regional stability remains a challenge”, Connolly remarked.

Paramount Maritime offers a range of commercial and military vessels as well as support for vessels servicing Africa’s wind farms and renewable markets.

“Despite COVID-19, the South African shipbuilding industry needs to keep reinventing itself. We were pleased to launch at close of 2020 our next-generation Survey Motor Boats (SMBs) for the South African Navy and in 2021, our 35 metre Sentinel flagship vessels, setting new standards in innovative design, comfort and protection. We look forward to continuing to play our role in supporting our partners that require advanced solutions to the evolutionary threats inherent in maritime security, while contributing to our industry’s response to the unique challenges that COVID-19 continues to present,” Connolly concluded.