UK marine financer Lombard has announced the appointment of Greg Chiappini as head of aviation and marine, part of Lombard’s Specialist Markets division. Prior to his recent promotion, he was head of specialist asset management at Lombard, a risk management role that equipped him with an in-depth of knowledge of the asset finance market, including marine and aviation.

Assessing the future of the marine industry, Chiappini comments, “Confidence in the marine market is high and the sector as a whole has an important role to play in the UK economy. Lombard welcomes the opportunity to provide effective funding solutions through our competitive range of products and help support the growth of British business. Our role will include, not only providing funding to marine buyers but offering more support to manufacturers, helping them to fund their stock and therefore boost revenues. ”

Greg Chiappini, head of aviation and marine at Lombard

Speaking exclusively to, Chiappini believes that the recession has not had a negative lasting impact on yacht finance. “The marine market it very resilient,” he explains. “As a result we saw a steady stream of enquiries throughout the recession, although more recently this has shown itself in increased sales levels - which are up eight per cent on the same period last year. The fact that there continue to be discounted prices offered by some manufacturers, along with low interest rates, makes this a particularly good time to buy a yacht. Lombard Marine continued its commitment to fund vessels throughout the recession and, while I can’t comment for other funders, we would actually like to lend more.

“However, it is probably true to say that there is a low awareness of marine finance and its benefits, which is something that we'll be aiming to change. Using asset finance to fund a yacht provides greater financial flexibility and allows individuals and business owners to free up capital. In the case of the former, using funding eliminates the need to liquidate assets before they reach optimum value, while business owners are able to use their capital to invest in the growth and expansion of their business. I would certainly suggest that it is at least worth looking at when buying a yacht - look at the options and weigh up the comparison.”

"It is probably true to say that there is a low awareness of marine finance and its benefits, which is something that we'll be aiming to change."

While Lombard does not fund yachts over 40m, Chiappini advises that the funding process remains the same regardless of the type or size of vessel being financed. “It is, however, worth noting that in the case of secondhand vessels there is a requirement for a full out-of-water survey and valuation which provides the purchaser, as much as ourselves, with confidence that the vessel is structurally-sound,” he adds. “We are able to support our clients and let them know what they need to look for when buying a vessel previously owned by someone else. For example, this would include ensuring that all outstanding charges have been paid.”

For an in depth analysis of the US and European finance sectors as two completely different landscapes for yacht lending, read issue 158 of The Superyacht Report.

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