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The Origin of the Core Values

A.P. Møller Holding and its portfolio companies are guided by five Core Values that have been established and lived by generations of the Maersk family. However, it was not until 2003 that the values were presented on paper.

“We all grew up with values, but how does one communicate the aspects that have been passed on implicitly?”

Asked Ane Uggla in an interview in the Maersk Post magazine in 2014.

Ane Uggla referred to the dilemma witnessed by her father, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, who carefully refined the family values into the five concepts that are now the Core Values:

  • Constant Care
  • Humbleness
  • Uprightness
  • Our Employees
  • Our Name

The Values

Were introduced by Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller in 2003, but at that time they had already existed in the Group since the very beginning more than a century earlier, emanating from the family home.

“The Values were first formalised in 2003, but they have been lived without being explicitly expressed, from the very beginning. This is what makes them authentic, genuine, valid and integrated into the business.”
Ane Uggla

A common understanding

The direct origin of the five concepts can be derived from a letter that Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller started writing in 1994. Maersk was expanding with globalisation and an increasing number of managers in the organisation were leading more and more people.

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller saw a need for communicating a set of guidelines that would ensure a common understanding of the “Aims of the Group” and the “Conduct of Managers”.

Value-based leadership

The purpose was to secure a positive perception of the way we do business, and ultimately, to protect the Maersk name and brand.

Today’s definitions of the Core Values found inspiration in Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller’s guidelines, which again built on the basic business principles and value-based leadership of A.P. Møller and other executives – all highly visible role models of their time.

“The values are the load-bearing pillars of the A.P. Moller Group”, Ane Uggla added in the Maersk Post interview and continued:

“Our employees need to be constantly ready for change, which is very demanding. We expect a lot from our workforce, and in many situations the Core Values represent a handrail, something to hold on to. The values are straightforward and easy to relate to, they are the constant in a complex world.”
Ane Uggla


Five Generations of the Mærsk family

Based on more than 20 years of experience as a captain on sailing ships, Peter Mærsk Møller acquired the small steamer ‘Laura’ and took the family company from sail to steam.


The Mærsk family companies

A.P. Møller, strongly supported by his father, captain Peter Mærsk Møller, established the Steamship Company Svendborg, the forerunner of today’s A.P. Moller – Maersk.


The calculated risk – starting a business

A.P. Møller founded the Steamship Company of 1912. The objective was to create a base for growth.


Growth and Consolidation

A.P. Møller set up a small office to act as the manager of the fleets of the Svendborg and 1912 companies. The first transactions in brokerage of ships and cargoes took place.


A.P. Møller was asked by the Danish government to take up the presidency of Danske Bank

He remained the Chair until 1952, taking the bank from public to private ownership. During this time, A.P. Møller and the shipping companies invested in the bank.


The family partnership

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller became a partner in “Firmaet A.P. Møller”.


The A.P. Moller Foundation as an owner

The A.P. Moller Foundation was established to ensure a long-term, stable ownership structure of the Maersk activities. A.P. Møller was the Chair, and Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was a board member.


Into energy - for the greater good

A.P. Møller, together with the Steamship Company Svendborg and the Steamship Company of 1912, was awarded the concession for exploration and extraction of raw materials in the Danish underground.


Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller became senior partner and Chair of the Svendborg and 1912 companies, the shipyard, other companies and the foundations after his father, A.P. Møller’s death on 12 June 1965.


A strategy for the A.P. Moller Group

The direction for the next 45 years of expansion was laid in a strategy for The A.P. Moller Group.


Engagement over time – the family in the Foundations

Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla became a member of the board of the A.P. Moller Foundation, today’s owner of A.P. Moller Holding.


After 28 years at the helm of the Group, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller stepped down from daily management.

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller remained Chair of the Foundations, the Svendborg and 1912 companies and the Odense Steel Shipyard.


The Origin of the Core Values

Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller retired from most presidencies in the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group. Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla became the Co-chair of A.P. Moller – Maersk. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller introduced the five Core Values, based on his father’s leadership principles.


Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla

Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla became the Chair of the A.P. Moller Foundation when Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller died on 16 April 2012.


A.P. Moller Holding was established to act as the investment arm of the A.P. Moller Foundation

The majority ownership of A.P. Moller – Maersk was transferred to A.P. Moller Holding from the A.P. Moller Foundation. Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla became the Chair of A.P. Moller Holding.


A.P. Moller Holding

Adding to its 2.98% holding, A.P. Moller Holding acquired 15% of Danske Bank’s total share capital as part of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s divestment of the same. Following the 15% acquisition, A.P. Moller Holding bought an extra 2.02% to fulfill the ambition of a total ownership of 20%.


Robert M. Uggla

Robert M. Uggla became the CEO of A.P. Moller Holding. A.P. Moller – Maersk was restructured into two independent divisions; an integrated Transport & Logistics division and an Energy division.


The Africa Infrastructure Fund

The Africa Infrastructure Fund was established by A.P. Moller Capital, which was founded to manage stand-alone funds focusing on infrastructure in emerging markets. Maersk Tankers was acquired by A.P. Moller Holding from A.P. Moller – Maersk.


Maersk Oil

Maersk Oil was divested from A.P. Moller – Maersk to Total S.A.


Maersk Drilling

At the public listing of Maersk Drilling, A.P. Moller Holding retained a 41.26% share of the company. A.P. Moller Holding acquired KK Group.