Northrop & Johnson has opened the company’s first superyacht charter office in Los Angeles and has appointed two former luxury industry executives to drive the business into the region’s unique mix of UHNWIs with backgrounds in entertainment and high-technology.

“During my years with Quintessentially, I fostered lasting relationships with ultra-high-net-worth clients from a wide variety of industries who I have remained in touch with,” Brian Lucey, the company’s new LA charter broker has said.

According to Lucey, Ariel Stepp, the Los Angeles office manager, is also bringing with her a large network of ultra-high-net-worth clients, many of who come from the entertainment industry.

Northrop & Johnson's new Los Angeles team: Office manager Ariel Stepp and charter broker Brian Lucey

Lucey has said the Los Angeles market remains relatively untouched with regard to yacht charters: “I see massive potential in LA, as the West coast of the US is not as saturated with big charter brokerages as on the East coast.”

“Southern California has a wealth market that spans across many different industries; business will not all come solely from the entertainment industry. That being said, however, our office is closely tied to the entertainment industry and we intend to utilise our network of contacts to educate those in the entertainment industry, and otherwise, on chartering and yachting in general,” he explained.

“VIPs in the entertainment industry may have more particular expectations than the average charter client — Los Angeles is known for exceedingly specific diets and health trends,” he added. 

“It is essential that these charter guests have access to their required dietary and heath options, even when on holiday; we are able to help facilitate these requests and perfectly pair yachts with the needs of our clientele.

Celebrities may also have heightened privacy concerns, which Lucey says his office will be able to preempt to ensure discretion.

Another relatively untapped charter market in California is Silicon Valley, which Lucey says they are able to cater to. 

“There is a growing segment of young executives from companies in Silicon Valley looking for exciting, distinctive and rare experiences who are not yet familiar with the yachting industry,” Lucey has said. 

“We intend to create programmes and events that educate them and make chartering, or even purchase, more accessible,” he has said.  

Lucey reports that Northrop & Johnson conducted extensive market research on locations throughout the US and has concluded that opening a charter office in Los Angeles would be a logical step to growing its charter brokerage business.

“I think because of our experience outside of yachting, Ariel and I will be able to create unique, tailored experiences for clients and brands—our focus on outreach to the entertainment industry will make us stand out from many other charter offices worldwide,” he said.  

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