Mark McCarthy
Managing Director

Mark McCarthy is a Director of Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Mark focuses on origination, client relationships and credit decisions.

Mark has also been a Director and Chief Credit Officer at RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm, for nearly five years. Mark has over 30 years’ experience in ship finance and has been involved in total loan and lease exposures of more than US$5 billion on 500+ vessels.

Before Ascension and RMK, Mark was Head of Shipping at Santander UK (previously Alliance & Leicester Commercial Finance) where the team had created a $3.5 billion shipping debt and lease portfolio. As well as establishing the ship finance team and portfolio at Alliance & Leicester, Mark handled debt restructurings, maritime security enforcement and restructuring of UK tax leases.

Prior to being at Alliance & Leicester, Mark had various roles across the ship-finance industry, beginning at Royal Bank of Scotland. In the early 1990’s, Mark took over responsibility for the ship lending book at Berliner Bank’s London, after which he then spent several years as a ship finance consultant at specialist firms.

Richard Moore

Richard Moore is a Director of Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Richard focuses on client development and special situations.

Richard also heads the London office of RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. Richard has been working exclusively in the shipping industry for 27 years. He has chartered, bought, sold, financed and arranged the investment in more than 150 vessels in multiple shipping sectors with values exceeding $5.0 billion.

From 2006-2012 Richard was Managing Director of Syncap Marine Limited, a structured finance firm in the maritime industry that was merged into RMK. From 2002-2006, Richard worked at Synergy Finance Limited, a UK tax leasing specialist that arranged more than $3 billion of tax leases in the shipping industry. From 1994 – 2002 prior to his career change into finance, Richard worked in sale and purchase at Braemar plc, Seascope Shipping and Hintz Lea & Davis, having originally trained as a chartering broker at Giles Pritchard Gordon Ltd.

Richard is a Liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, is a Trustee of the Parachute Regiment Charity with focus on the Charities finances and investments and is a Trustee of AAL and its associated Museum.

Michael Kirk

Michael Kirk is a Director of Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Michael focuses on origination, credit and investor communication.

Michael also runs the New York office of RMK, an maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. At RMK, he concentrates on capital raising, structuring and advisory. He has spent 15 years in finance, the last 13 of which have had a maritime focus. He has worked across the capital structure and has advised on more than $5.0 billion worth of transactions.

Prior to Ascension and RMK, Michael founded MTK Capital. MTK advised both shipping companies and institutional investors looking at maritime investments, and ultimately merged into RMK. For two years previously, Michael was a Vice President at Dahlman Rose & Co, where he worked solely on maritime transactions and was the coverage officer for Greece. Prior to that, Michael was an AVP in DVB Bank’s London office. Michael started his career at HSBC Bank in London on the Energy & Utilities Corporate Finance Team.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.

Sandra Pavic-Watkinson
Assistant Director

Sandra Pavic-Watkinson is an Assistant Director at Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Sandra focuses on first-mortgage debt, structuring and leasing.

Since 2018, Sandra has been an Assistant Director at RMK a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. Sandra has spent 12 years in finance, the last 7 of which have had a maritime focus. She has originated, structured and syndicated $4.3 billion of senior secured debt facilities in the offshore sector. She has equally advised on and executed a wide range of restructuring work spanning the financial covenants amendments, repayment deferrals and security covenant waivers to complex restructuring involving different claimants in various legal jurisdictions.

Prior to Ascension, Sandra spent seven years with Nordea Shipping and Offshore department in London as a relationship manager, managing a portfolio of clients in Europe and Brazil. Prior to that, she worked at Barclays Capital in London in the leveraged finance (credit) department. Sandra started her career with ANZ Institutional Bank in New Zealand in the Natural Resources and Utilities team.

Sandra holds a Master’s degree in finance from London Business School.

Georgios Keros

Georgios Keros is an Associate at Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Georgios works from loan origination through loan service and monitoring.

Georgios is also an Associate at RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. He has worked in the shipping industry as an analyst for four years focusing on market research in the Dry Bulk, Tanker and Container sectors. At RMK, Georgios focuses on financial and credit analysis supporting the company’s advisory and financing projects, in addition to analysing market fundamentals and public shipping companies.

Prior to Ascension, Georgios worked for Navios Maritime Group in the New York office as well as at an established private shipping group based in Athens, Greece. Georgios also worked in Athens, Greece for Axia Ventures Group, an investment bank headquartered in Cyprus and with a focus on Southern Europe.

Georgios holds a bachelor’s degree from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business - University of Michigan.

Grace McCarthy

Grace McCarthy is an Analyst at Ascension Finance. At Ascension, Grace provides support with industry research and project analysis. She is also the office manager in the London office.

Grace is also an Analyst at RMK, a maritime-focused investment bank and advisory firm. Grace has worked in the shipping industry for three years, and has a background in Mathematics with Finance after teaching for three years prior. Grace is aiming to join The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers with a focus on Shipping Finance.

Grace holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Brighton.