Torben Østergaard-Nielsen – 40 years of visionary entrepreneurship
Founder and owner
From his very start as a young managing director in the shipbroker H. Sommer’s Eftf. (owned by Julius Mortensen Shipping), Torben Østergaard-Nielsen has defined and embodied the three core values that still today are the cornerstones of USTC and
its subsidiaries: Decency, business acumen and leadership.
Although the organization has expanded into a multitude of branches, his original values still today guide the hand of employees across USTC. As such, all employees recognize that we are not afraid to innovate, often taking the first, bold steps into undeveloped business areas, and building a profitable business on a foundation of trust and growth between ourselves and our partners.
From humble beginnings
From his initial hiring with Julius Mortensen Shipping in 1976 and his promotion as managing director of the subsidiary H. Sommer’s Eftf. in 1978, Torben Østergaard-Nielsen quickly began developing his vision for the future of bunkering, founding Dan-Bunkering in 1981. As a new mediator in the fueling business, he assembled a core team of skilled coworkers and began developing an international network that would help establish the bunkering business as we know it today. This built the foundation of Bunker Holding, established in 1984, which still today is one of the driving economic forces in the USTC company portfolio.
Through an expansive M&A strategy, however, the company quickly began exploring synergies between the shipping and bunkering industries and has later later developed into a wide energy supply corporation, housing both shipping and logistics companies, wood pellet suppliers, shipowning, an environment & recycling group and an independent, nationwide IT-company.
Along with this wide array of energy supply branches, Torben Østergaard-Nielsen has successfully combined business and pleasure, as his life-long passion for classic sports cars fostered the Selected Car Group. Containing not only the largest premium car leasing provider in Denmark, it also houses the Selected Car Collection – one of Europe’s finest car collections – and Selected Car Investment, where investment cars are brought and sold worldwide.
Getting ready for the next generation
Having been the founding leader and owner of the USTC group since its inception, today Torben Østergaard-Nielsen has maintained a role as working chairman of the board whilst transferring leadership roles to his two daughters: Nina Østergaard Borris and Mia Østergaard Rechnitzer.. With Nina taking the mantle as CEO of USTC in 2022 and Mia frontrunning a new era of leadership as CGO, the economic future and stability of the family-owned business is in capable hands.
Torben Østergaard-Nielsen, born in 1954, was born and raised in Middelfart, where he still resides. With many decades of experience and extensive expertise within the shipping and bunkering industries, he still maintains his role as strategic advisor as well as ownership and stock control over Selfinvest and the USTC group.
Apart from being a German Honorary Consul from 1988-2020, a member of Corps Consulaire since 1988 and a member of Danske Bank Erhvervsråd from 2006-2022, he maintains board roles within most USTC companies. Further board memberships include: Fayard Holding ApS, Fayard A/S, Fiberline Holding ApS, H.J. Hansen Holding A/S and Gottfred Petersen Holding A/S.