The first day of The Superyacht Owners’ Summit kicked off today with power and punch as a panel of aviation experts shared their opinions and insights from what is arguably a more mature industry operating in a synergistic market. Bob Atkinson of B Capital, Kasyan Bartlett of Affinity Aviation, Nic Imrie of Stratajet, Janus Kamradt of Executive Jet Management and Jonathan Russell of Hill Dickinson were joined by Martin Redmayne at the event, which will run alongside the London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show for the next two days.
Early on in discussions, transparency – or the apparent lack of it in our industry, was tackled by panelists, who cited its positive affect on buyers and financiers in the private jet market. Blue Book and JETNET were both referenced as buying aids and information platforms which don’t yet exist in our industry. Granted, improved transparency and visibility would no doubt be tougher in the yachting industry where higher levels of personalisation among countless other factors make it almost impossible to compare like for like assets – but it seems there is room for improvement nonetheless.
Jonathan Russell of Hill Dickinson said, “If there is one lesson to be passed on, being able to give better visibility of the true cost of assets would be it.” While some suggested that banks were more likely to lend to jets over yachts because of this shortfall, Janus Kamradt of Executive Jet Management did put forward an argument for the willingness of some banks to get involved, suggesting, “some banks use yachting as a hook for private wealth. They live with the fact that they have to get into bed with a yacht or indeed a private jet to achieve that. An awful lot of banks would not be interested if it was just about the one transaction.”
Throughout discussions, the fundamental differences between the two customers were flagged up by both panelists and audience members, who recognised, as Jonathan Russell pointed out that, “private aircraft is seen as more of a business tool. Yachts are all about leisure.” As Nic Imrie talked through Stratajet, an app that uses algorithms, rather than an agent, to enable chartering experiences at the touch of a button, the audience pondered the chances of this sort of technology being developed for superyacht charters. Can such passion-driven purchases be made at the touch of a button? Time will tell.