How financially rewarding a role in superyacht brokerage can be is well documented. But counterbalancing the rewards are the efforts required to reach a level of credibility where you’re able to outshine your competition and convince billionaires, who may have sceptical opinions of brokers, to part with tens or hundreds of millions for the acquisition of a luxury product deemed a poor financial investment.
But as with any profession on earth, if you expect inexperienced or junior brokers to earn their stripes without making mistakes along the way, you're very much whistling in the wind.
In a recent, exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews, Chris Cecil-Wright of Cecil Wright & Partners mentioned that some of the larger brokerage companies today are throwing inexperienced brokers into “some very important deals” – and that these companies have unrealistically high expectations of these brokers.
An interesting point he raised was that very often their mistakes can look a lot worse than they actually are, simply because of the business they're in. “One of the biggest issues with big deals in brokerage is that the moment you make a mistake you look dishonest.
"A mistake can be genuine, but because the numbers are so big and everyone is so cynical, people construe mistakes as dishonesty, but it's not. There are a lot of young guys out there who get it completely wrong and make mistakes, but it’s not because they’re being dishonest."
Brokers, unfortunately, are fighting a constant battle against their reputation, but will inevitably fall foul of human error and lose deals. Yet, the knee-jerk response is to cry deceit and, in many cases, this is quite simply unfounded.
It’s brilliant that large companies, and even clients, are placing faith in young brokers – it allows them to gain quick and valuable experience. But it’s clearly worth remembering the harm a mistake on a big deal can cause to a young professional’s reputation and standing within the industry, even if it was made with the best of intentions.
In the immortalised words of J. R. R. Tolkien’s seminal character, Gandalf, when describing the young hobbit Pippin, “a fool… but an honest fool he remains”.