“Wearing the hat of an investment banker and asset manager, I believe the superyacht market ticks a lot of boxes,” started Anthony Moore at the Superyacht Investor Summit 2018. Moore, an investment banker of five decades and a member of the Momentum Superyacht Group team, explained that there is enormous potential within a growing charter market and that “any investor is going to look seriously at a market of that size”.
Moore spoke of a superyacht market that was fragmented and, in lieu of this fragmentation, ripe for investment, consolidation and the creation of businesses that are able to take advantage of economies of scale that have hitherto been unavailable or unused. Additionally, Moore highlighted that the superyacht market is increasingly moving into the hospitality and leisure markets and vice versa.
“You will see that people are increasingly looking at a yacht as an option for their vacation,” Moore said. “The market is going to get bigger, it will consolidate and there will be more investment vehicles, of which there are very few at the moment, that spend in the industry. In the coming years there will be far more investment vehicles established for this market place.”
Passion has played a pivotal role in the superyacht market, after all, investing in a superyacht to date has been nothing if not conspicuous. However, passion does not necessarily guarantee the smooth running of a profitable business, indeed Moore quipped that “Passion is good, but it tends to be of most benefit to our lawyer friends”. Moore believes that the future of the superyacht charter market lies in the creation of an effective brand, operated by a company that considers its superyachts “workhorses” not hobby craft.
“The brand is the way to go in the superyacht industry,” continued Moore. “Building a large brand, with all the money that sloshing around out there at the moment, will give the opportunity for someone who has built a substantial business in three to five years to sell a branded superyacht business – and that is what investors will be looking at more in the near future…I am surprised by the level of interest we have already had. Having been doing this for five decades I am used to getting a feel quickly for investor appetites for a new offering or proposition. We have interest from the Asia Pacific region, the Gulf and Central and South America.”
Momentum Superyacht Group is pursuing a strategy of purchasing a fleet of second-hand vessels with proven charter records, owning them, chartering them and managing them. The assets will be moved globally to wherever they are able to generate the greatest return and ran like workhorses, allowing the assets to be sweated and profits maximised.
“There will, of course, be ancillary services we can add to that. The Airbnb model is an obvious one, why not bring yachts in for the Monaco Grand Prix and rent rooms?”, Moore says. “You can offer quite large discounts if you have a fleet and in terms of revenue flows and margins, if you have a fleet, the opportunities must be there for bulk fuel purchases, negotiating better rates on insurance and general provisioning. There is some scepticism in the marketplace, but when I look at the advantages, they seem to significantly outweigh the disadvantages and we believe we can push returns towards 20 per cent.”
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