Burgess is one of the most iconic and longest running brokerage firms in the business - what makes the company and its ethos so unique?
We truly are a united unit and even though we've grown over the years, I think we try really hard to maintain the family ethos that was instilled so long ago. I like to say that I still personally know each and everyone of our 160 staff the world over, and we're lucky to see a really small staff turnover. Operating as a team, there are no lone wolves or people with their own separate motivations, and I think that is something we are able to vet from the very beginning when a new member of staff comes in for an interview.
What has been the biggest change in the brokerage market since Nigel Burgess opened its doors in 1975?
We're certainly seeing clients getting younger and a shift in where they are coming from. People are making money a lot quicker in their careers and are looking to spend it on hobbies they enjoy. I've seen a greater shift to industry professionalism and maintaining integrity when conducting business. The busiest countries have changed over time, taking turns on the top before a new market emerges again. The 1980's saw traditional markets in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, Europe and America, while there were flares in Japan, Mexico and Russia after that. Currently we're seeing parts of Asia come forward and the improved US dollar is seeing a comeback from this market.
What is your personal outlook for the brokerage landscape in the next five years?
I think we need to continually be challenging ourselves and trying something new to ensure we're growing and expanding as an industry. You don't know what will happen until you try it, and you really can't afford to stand still in this market. We're very lucky to be in a stable position at the moment - 40 years ago, we were on the start line, whereas now we're established with offices all over the world. We're not immediately looking to expand with any more offices, but focus on our market share, serving clients better and joining the shift to the digital age.
The future truly belongs to the young generation and it's very bright at the moment.
The full interview with Jonathan Beckett will be featured in issue 165 of The Superyacht Report, as part of the Superyacht Industrialists feature.
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