“People are always asking what will change the industry,” asserts Martin Bellamy chairman and CEO of Salamanca Group. “What I don’t think people have woken up to yet is that what is going to change the industry is self-regulation, compliance and governance.”

In a conversation with The Supeyacht Owner following the announcement of Salamanca Group’s new enterprise OneOcean Ventures, Bellamy stresses that there is a trend in the superyacht industry to turn a blind eye to things.

“There is going to come a time when someone charters a vessel and questions like ‘do you know who has chartered that vessel?’, ‘do you know where the money came from?’ and ‘did you do your checks correctly?’ will be asked, and if the answers are unknown, there will be a real problem,” he says.

“You just cannot continue to have this industry where everybody turns a blind eye to everything. When this changes—and it will change—that is what will force change in the industry [as a whole]. People will take it more seriously and they will see a greater level of transparency.”

With OneOcean, merchant banking group Salamanca joins forces with America’s Huizenga family, the name behind South Florida’s Rybovich marina and refit yard, as well as three Fortune 500 companies. With OneOcean, Salamanca will take undefined stakes in Europe’s largest repair yard MB’92 as well as Rybovich, adding them to its current superyacht asset Marina Port Vell, aligning two of the world’s largest nautical clusters, establishing coordinated operations on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. As well as offering marine operation services with these refit and repair centres, and facilities such as marinas, restaurants and hotels, OneOcean will also be a client advisory business.

“Client advisory is probably an alien term in the marine industry, but for us, coming from a merchant banking background, it isn’t at all,” says Bellamy. “We decided that here in Monaco we would set up a client advisory business to advise the owners in everything to do with the industry.”

OneOcean's client advisory services will be done in house, something Bellamy feels is crucial to setting them a part. "It is useless for an owner to come to us and say that they would like us to help them and we just go around the corner and get someone else to do it," he says. "We have got to be able to provide the advice and deliver to the clients under one roof."

According to Bellamy, the levels of governance and compliance at OneOcean will follow the levels of Salamanca Group and drive the company, something that he hopes will help the industry move towards an era of greater transparency. Pre-empting what he sees as an inevitable turn towards greater regulations will be key.

“I genuinely think that you have to turn the industry into an arena where people can come and make decisions with their head not just their heart,” he says. “They need to know that if they buy one of these things, they can look after it, they can preserve value. You aren’t trying to make money with a boat, but owners can become a lot savvier. If you have got a very well-built vessel, which has been well thought out and built in a way that is efficient, has been very well-serviced and looked after, it will retain its value. If you can say that your vessel has been managed throughout its life by OneOcean, that will hopefully be a bonus as well.”

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