In September 2014 the Monaco Yachting Cluster was formed as a tool to emphasise the principality as a business and leisure destination via dialogue with industry players. The Cluster, whose president is Bernard d’Alessandri, the secretary general of the Yacht Club de Monaco (the Yacht Club is also the Cluster’s headquarters), is the second of its kind, following the 2012 formation of the Barcelona Nautical Cluster.

D’Alessandri  says he has scrutinised the representation of yachting in Monaco. “Give us the resources to work together; the yachting industry is not adequately represented in the principality, even though the surface area of Monaco’s two ports represents 10 per cent of the country,” he explained. “It’s up to us to highlight our assets and promote our destination as a centre of excellence.”

“The new [Monaco Yachting Cluster] is one of a range of economic and structural responses to the Monegasque Government’s long-term plan for enhancing the attractiveness and competitiveness of Monaco as a destination for serious business across a range of industries, including yachting,” Simon Cardiff, Carey Group Marine Services, told SuperyachtNews.com. Some of the disciplines the yachting industry hopes to influence, Cardiff added, include, “port services, technical yacht services, services for owners and families, legal, finance, tax and banking support, tourism, management, training and education, and many more.”

The Cluster has established four working groups to tackle Monaco’s development: Monaco as a destination; economic development; regulation, taxes and financial issues; and communication, education and training. “Each group will report their findings and recommendations to the board of directors of the association, who will then speak with one voice to the government,” explained Lionel Avias, director of BWA Yachting. Avias added, “The yachting cluster is an important part of the principality’s strategy to make Monaco an attractive leisure destination as it has been [for] businesses for many years. We believe that yachting [plays] a crucial part in this, however we ourselves as yachting professionals need to get better organised and lay out a set of priorities to get there.”


The new Yacht Club de Monaco is the headquarters of the Monaco Yachting Cluster

Speaking to SuperyachtNews.com, Mario Velonà, director at OCEAN Independence Monaco, outlined some of the areas the Cluster hopes to influence. “We believe that everyone interested in keeping superyachting alive and enticing for clients in Monaco should play their part in regulating, advising and communicating on current issues for the industry,” he explained. “As a long-established superyacht broker in Monaco I am happy to be part of the Monaco Yachting Cluster initiative that will, hopefully, see the resolution of issues in areas such as the Monaco commercial yacht flag and a Monaco-based commercial charter company that can be used by international beneficial owners to buy and commercially run their superyachts.

Velonà highlighted two key points the board and working groups will focus on as, “the creation of a Monegasque leasing scheme and financing base for commercial yachts that could first be used by the above-mentioned Monegasque commercial companies to buy the yachts and, eventually, by other non-Monegasque entities.”

As well as those quoted above, the Monaco Yachting Cluster’s board of directors comprises: Eric Althaus, director, Althaus Yachting; Eric Blair, general secretary, LYBRA; Gianbattista Borea d’Olmo, managing director, SEPM; Christelle Caverness, head of yacht and private jet financing, Société Générale; Laurent Certaldie, director, Catalano Shipping; Xavier de Sarrau, managing partner, Gordon S. Blair; Theo Hooning, general secretary, SYBAss; Axel Hoppenot, marketing director, SBM; Olivier Lachapelle, managing director, Ascoma Jutheau and Husson; Espen Oeino, director, Espen Oeino International, Laurent Perignon, chief operations officer, Camper and Nicholsons, Esliabeth Ritter-Moati, business development manager, CDE; and Nicola Ruggeri, director, Tethys Monaco SARL.

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