Christopher Seán Day
(South African College School, Newlands & Oriel 1974) (5 June 1949 - 27 July 2023)
Christopher Seán Day, beloved father, husband, friend, and adventurer, died peacefully at home with his family in Greenwich, CT, on July 27, 2023. He was 74.
Seán, as he was known to all, was born on June 5, 1949, in Cape Town, South Africa to Joan and Eric Day. From his parents, he inherited his moral compass, stoicism, and independent spirit. Seán grew up first in Cape Town and later in Knysna, South Africa, during the apartheid regime. His family strongly opposed the movement, and his parents had relocated to South Africa from Ireland in 1948 as part of General Jan Smuts’ efforts to defeat the Nationalist Party.
At just six years old, Seán began attending boarding school at the South African College School in Cape Town, from which he graduated. Seán loved ships and the sea from his earliest memories, and at 17, he followed this passion and enrolled in the South Africa Merchant Marine Academy. He then spent several years at sea as a cadet in the merchant marine. In 1968, he resumed his studies at the University of Cape Town, earning a degree in business. While a student at UCT, he competed in the first Cape to Rio Yacht Race—the longest continent-to-continent sailing yacht race in the southern hemisphere—as a crew member aboard the Merchant Marine Academy boat. Seán was awarded a Rhodes scholarship, and after completing his national military service as a navigating officer on a destroyer in the South African Navy, he studied law at Oxford University in England beginning in 1972.
After graduating from Oxford, Seán joined the Scottish trading house Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong, where he served as commercial manager of their ship-owning group, the Indo-China Steam Navigation Company. Following two years in Hong Kong and one year in Taipei with Jardines, he joined the Canadian ship-owning group Fed Nav as an operations manager based in Montreal, Canada. During this time, Seán met his future wife, Virginia (Ginny) Farrell, then a student at Harvard Business School. They were introduced by their close friends, Dick and Lisa Cashin.
Seán and Ginny married in 1981 and settled in New York. In 1982 he joined Navios Corporation. After restructuring and restoring Navios, Seán briefly left the shipping industry to work at Citicorp Venture Capital for several years.
In 1989, Seán rejoined Navios and eventually became CEO. In 1999, he joined the Teekay Corporation as its chairman until 2017. At the time of his death, he was Chairman Emeritus of Teekay Corporation and Compass Diversified. During his life, he served on many boards, including Navios Corporation, Teekay Tankers, Teekay Offshore Partners, Teekay LNG Partners, Compass Diversified Holdings, Teekay Corporation and Kirby Corporation.