Charles Fabrikant ’68

Leading By Example

Spring 2012

In April 2010, emergency services company Seacor Response supervised 12,000 people in the cleanup effort after a BP offshore oil rig exploded and oil began gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. “The mobilization of resources—both aviation and marine—was on a scale that certainly no one had seen since the Exxon [Valdez] spill,” says Charles Fabrikant ’68, executive chairman of Seacor Holdings, the parent company of Seacor Response.

Fabrikant helped found Seacor Holdings in 1989, and, for more than two decades, he has worked to strengthen the company. Fabrikant draws from his experience in environmental law and in business to direct Seacor’s additional branches, which include commodity trading, harbor and offshore towing services, and aviation and marine transportation.

Fabrikant’s depth of knowledge brought a crucial perspective in the wake of the BP accident, and while Seacor Response tackled the logistics of cleaning up oil in the Gulf, he applied lessons learned from the event to his company as a whole. “The BP spill was a wake-up call to a lot of corporations about how there should be some formality in risk assessment—and it shouldn’t just be for financial risk, but any kind of risk,” he says. With that in mind, Fabrikant took particular care in reviewing Seacor’s contracts and subcontracts to ensure the company considered every vulnerability.

“The environmental law business taught me everything from contracts to antitrust to securities regulation to tax law,” says Fabrikant. He pauses before adding with a chuckle, “My general counsel probably hates that I’m perfectly prepared to challenge him on any legal point.”