As of February 1, for the first time in 64 years, itâs a Ko and not a McLaren who owns and runs Allied Shipbuilders of North Vancouver, BC. Itâs British Columbiaâs second-largest privately owned commercial shipyard company, employing 120 people. Wednesday, 08.Feb.2012, 02:39 (GMT+3)
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship "Tanu", in Allied Shipbuilders' larger floating drydock. Allied completed a life-extension project on the ship in January 2011. Photo Credit: Allied Shipbuilders
As of February 1, for the first time in 64 years, itâs a Ko and not a McLaren who owns and runs Allied Shipbuilders of North Vancouver, BC. Itâs British Columbiaâs second-largest privately owned commercial shipyard company, employing 120 people.
Brothers Jim McLaren, 66, and Malcolm McLaren, 58, have sold their majority ownership in the veteran shipbuilding and ship-repair company to Chuck Ko, the companyâs Vice-President of Operations. The transaction occurred Wednesday after the trio quietly completed several years of transition preparation to ensure the stability of the firm.
âChuck has been with the firm for 31 years,â says Malcolm, the outgoing president of Allied. âHe trained directly under my father, who founded Allied in 1948, and Chuckâs had an active role in every major project weâve handled since 1980. My father believed a shipbuilding and repair operation should be run by somebody with a lot of hands-on experience, and we donât want that to change. Plus, Chuck is family to us.â
Ko, 50, adds, âWith the $8 billion federal shipbuilding program recently awarded in British Columbia, this is a great time for our industry. BCâs shipyards will have great opportunities, and Allied is poised to take advantage of this historic decision.â
Malcolm and Jim announced the leadership transition alongside Chuck as one of their last acts before stepping away, each for different reasons. Jim is retiring from his position as Shipyard Manager to spend more time with his wife and sailboat, while Malcolm is leaving for health reasons following his diagnosis of Parkinsonâs disease seven years ago.
âI began thinking seriously about the ownership of the company soon after my diagnosis,â Malcolm explains. âAt first, I wondered whether it might be best to sell the operation to a big competitor. But then Chuck said, âWhy donât you sell it to me?â, and I thought, âWell, thereâs a good idea.ââ Malcolm and Jim worked closely with Ko to plot a transition course that would ensure the continued success of the firm.
There are still McLarens at Allied after February 1, however. A third brother, 62-year-old Douglas McLaren, continues as part owner and as the companyâs Electrical Superintendent. His sons, Jason and Marcus, will also remain with the company, as will Jim McLarenâs son, Ward.
Chuck Ko, the new President and Owner of Allied Shipyards in North Vancouver. Behind him is the Canadian Coast Guard ship 'Vector', in the shipyard for maintenance. Photo Credit: Lucas Morgan