The family partnership

Between 1914 and 2013 a very special Danish legal construction formed the core of the leadership of the A.P. Moller Group and the year 1940 represents a significant evolution within this construction.

In Denmark, laws and traditions prescribed that a shipping company should have a so-called Managing Owner. In most cases, this would be a company which formed the legal representative of the ship owning company and thereby manage the daily running of shipping activities.

In 1914 the legal entity Firmaet A.P. Møller (the firm A.P. Moller) was established by the newly self-employed A.P. Møller. The firm A.P. Moller had chartering and brokerage activities and was the management of the Steamship Company Svendborg (est. 1904) and the Steamship Company of 1912.


Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller joined his father’s company in 1938 and just two years later, the implications of the Second World War changed the course of the A.P. Moller shipping companies. Denmark was occupied in April 1940; 36 of 46 Maersk vessels were outside Danish waters and Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller traveled to the office in New York to manage the fleet from there.


To facilitate this, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was made partner in the firm A.P. Moller and given the necessary power of attorney to make decisions on behalf of the company. A.P. Møller and Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller remained sole partners until 1959 where A.P. Møller’s nephew Georg Andersen joined.


From 1965, when A.P. Møller died, the firm A.P. Moller became the Managing Owner of not only the shipping companies, but also the Group’s growing activities in energy and offshore, manufacturing, air services, IT and retail. From 1974, Senior Executives in the company were taken on as Partners; thus, safeguarding the long-term stability of the company. The founding family invited professionals from outside the family to invest their personal responsibility in the future of the enterprise.


Including A.P. Møller and Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, a total of 22 persons have been Partners in the firm A.P. Moller. The Managing Owner legal construction persevered until 2013 when A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S introduced a two-tier management structure consisting of the Board of Directors and the Management Board.

How to find us

Postal address

A.P. Møller Holding A/S
Esplanaden 50
1263 Copenhagen K

Visiting address

A.P. Møller Holding A/S
Esplanaden 19
1263 Copenhagen K



T: +45 61 18 10 20
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