Olivier Lavau-Wira is an accomplished commercial shipping and operations executive with significant expertise in logistics and sales management.
About Olivier Lavau-Wira
With more than 20 years of port agency and shipping industry experience, Olivier Lavau-Wira career has spanned a variety of duties across a variety of international locations. Currently based in Chile, he remains steadfastly committed to expanding profitability and delivering truly exceptional customer service.
Born in Paris to a small, close-knit family, Olivier Lava-Wira grew up in southern France, near Lyons. As a teenager, Olivier returned to the nation’s capital to complete his education. He holds a technical diploma in international trade and and advanced graduate degree in business and finance.
After finishing his studies, Olivier took some time to travel internationally. Upon his arrival back home, he met with a family friend visiting from Chile who boasted about the booming nation’s many opportunities. In 1996, Olivier seized this opportunity and joined the gentleman’s company, a large corporation active in a wide variety of real estate ventures.
Olivier’s first posting in Latin America was in a small town approximately 500 kilometers south of Santiago. His service here earned him residency status, as well as new local connections he came to cherish. This included the husband of a co-worker, who worked as an operations manager for Ultramar, a firm specializing in shipping, ports, transport, and logistics. After several months of repeated attempts to recruit him, Olivier finally accepted the offer to join the port agency on the shipping aspect of the business.
Beginning in an entry-level position, Olivier soon found he thrived in this new environment, which allowed him to leverage his language skills, education, and personal passion for building productive partnerships. He eventually took on a role based at the corporate headquarters in Santiago. Owned by several generations of the same German family, Ultramar’s atmosphere of inclusivity and support created an incredible situation in which Olivier could excel. He continued his rise through the ranks, holding titles that included Senior Ship Operator, Maritime Business Manager, and, finally, Commercial Manager. In this most senior position, Olivier oversaw large regions, which required relocation.
As a Commercial Manager, Olivier first took on responsibility for Ultramar’s work in Peru, beginning in 2008. His mission was to develop and grow the agency to the largest and most profitable extent possible. As such, he became highly engaged in not only the commercial aspect of the business, but also in finance, IT, human resources, and more. He adores the four years he spent in the beautiful country, thoroughly enjoying his time there both professionally and personally. Olivier then moved to Argentina to recreate his success. The scope of his work here grew considerably, given that Argentina was clustered on the commercial side with markets in Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Olivier Lavau-Wira’s work won him recognition from Inchcape Shipping Services, the leading marine services provider in the world. After multiple invitations, Olivier joined the leadership team as Vice President of Marine Solutions for South and Central America. This new opportunity afforded him the chance to move back to Chile to be closer to his young daughter, as well as an even more expansive purview of authority and the exciting new challenges associated with the job
At Inchcape, Olivier supervised operations in seven different countries and worked directly with executive leadership to identify new commercial opportunities and develop business strategies to maximize value creation and profitability. He was also hands-on in leading the Southern and Central America team responsible for commercial processes across all business unit segments, going so far as to offer critical resource in managing key, large accounts.
Shipping & Operations Executive