Exclusive interview with Massimo Perotti
We sit down with the Executive Chairman of Sanlorenzo to discuss the sale of a 58m Explorer yacht, company strategy, America’s Cup and more…
In an exclusive interview on the first day of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2023, we sat down with Massimo Perotti, Executive Chairman, Sanlorenzo. Perotti shared his insights into the company’s strategies, sustainability initiatives, the establishment of a new foundation and the signing of a 58m Explorer yacht.
Dario Schiavo: What sets Sanlorenzo apart in the yachting industry?
Massimo Perotti: What we do best is innovation. We lead mainly in product research and development but also in design, as this is how we drive progress in the industry. Giovanni Jannetti curated a brand that was tailor-made for a few selected customers. When I bought the yard, it had a yearly turnover of €40m and was building seven to eight boats. He was a man who made elegance his trademark, just think of how he matched shirt and tie, he never left out any detail.
Sanlorenzo follows the tradition of craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, akin to luxury brands like Hermès, or Ferrari – companies that care for the meticulous details and monobrand.
We believe that every aspect of a yacht should be built to last, just as those legendary bags or sportive cars. And that’s what Jannetti did, create a luxury brand based on attention to detail, on ‘made-to-measure’, elegant and timeless design. He told me that everything the client found on board should be unbreakable. This is the legacy he left me.
Schiavo: How does Sanlorenzo differentiate itself from other shipyards?
Perotti: Creativity has played a fundamental role in my work. After acquiring Sanlorenzo in 2005, I noticed that the nautical world lagged in design compared to other industries. The Salone del Mobile in Milan was an opportunity to meet names that were part of the Milanese firmament of archistars: Rodolfo Dordoni, Antonio Citterio and Pietro Lissoni. I invited them to the shipyard, and they all unanimously agreed that our boats were a bit reminiscent of ‘grandma’s décor’.
Then came the first project developed alongside Rodolfo Dordoni, who revolutionised the interiors with a new, modern design reminiscent of a house. Curtains down to the floor, just like home and low mirrored furniture, which enlarged the room rather than being a continuation of the teak parquet or carpeted floor. On the ceiling, a band of glass gave a different perception of the boat.
We have an exclusive agreement for all Art Basel exhibitions as main support. Art is another of our strengths, and it is shown by the fact that we have set up the Sanlorenzo Foundation with the purchase of a historic palazzo in the heart of Venice. It is moments away from the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and a few steps from the Guggenheim, Prada and Pinault. It is the centre of culture and contemporary art at Punta della Dogana place.
Schiavo: What is Sanlorenzo's approach to becoming the number one shipyard?
Perotti: It's not my goal to be number one, for me it’s much more important to be a forerunner in all directions. It’s part of Sanlorenzo’s DNA. We are working for Sanlorenzo to become the precursor shipyard par excellence, and as a mono-brand, we have been a leader for a long time.
Pictured: Sanlorenzo's 50Steel is currently under construction in La Spezia and is expected for delivery in 2024.
Schiavo: How do you view Sanlorenzo's stock market performance and the recent buyback?
Perotti: Sanlorenzo’s stock was at €43.8 per share on 3 March 2023, so the consensus of five analysts estimates us above at €49: three at €50, one at €51 and one at €46. During this period we have a €1.5bn order book, 90% sold directly to the customers and after some market fluctuations, our stock now stands at €37. We have increased the guidance and have bought back our shares because we consider it a good and safe investment.
Notably, yesterday we signed a new contract for a 1,000GT 58m explorer superyacht. Sanlorenzo in the last three years has led the world in yachts from 24 to 50 metres. Also, the Sanlorenzo 50 will be the first yacht equipped with green methanol reformer fuel cells using Siemens Energy equipment to produce electricity for and establish 100% carbon neutral hotellerie services on board.
Schiavo: How does the quality of Italian shipyards compare to those in Northern Europe?
Perotti: In Northern Europe, there is a very high quality because there is a huge investment to develop the project in all details before building the boat. Our goal over this decade is to cancel out any difference in terms of quality to increase our leadership up to 70m yachts.
Schiavo: What led you to invest in the America's Cup?
Perotti: The America's Cup is like the Formula One of sailing, pushing the boundaries of technology and performance. We are involved in this prestigious event with hydrogen-powered chase boats, showcasing cutting-edge technology with the US consortium American Magic and the French consortium, Orient Express Racing.
The experience we will get from hydrogen-powered technology will be used in the construction of our BGM65HH. The first 20m multi hull hybrid to sail 80 miles at zero emission (8 knots speed for 10 hours). This endeavour will undoubtedly boost our image and benefit our brand, particularly through our Bluegame line, as we move towards future fuel cells and high-speed foils.
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