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Scale, uniformity and transparency

We speak with Evolution Yachting’s new COO Miquel Àngel Lliteras about the new realities of yacht agency…

As the superyacht market continues to professionalise, it is becoming increasingly clear that scale, uniformity and transparency must become central pillars of the superyacht market’s evolution. SuperyachtNews speaks with Evolution Yachting’s new COO about how he and the business plan to deliver the level of service increasingly expected of superyacht agents.

“At the moment we have a group of agencies within our group, but we need to become a complete team. We have 21 offices in nine countries, but the goal is to implement a series of protocols that ensure we are working as one company,” starts Miquel Àngel Llieras, COO of Evolution Yachting. “No matter where the vessel is, whether than be Spain, Croatia, Turkey and so on, the excellence of service that the yacht receives should be the same with the same information, the same invoicing, the same pricing (depending on Evolution’s three pricing regions). My goal is to make this a reality.”

Lliteras brings with him 21 years of experience in yachting. He is a qualified naval architect, studied an Executive Development Programme at IESE Business School and held various senior positions at MB92 including Shipyard Manager and member of the Management Committee of the Group. Lliteras joins Evolution Yachting after a period of rapid expansion on the part of the yacht agency group.

“During my time at MB92 I was shipyard manager and my responsibility was to bring together a number of departments that were working as individual entities,” continues Lliteras. “Over the last eight years at the shipyard we streamlined the operations between the various teams, the operations team, the quotations department, the financial department, the projects department and so on, and more recently this was implemented across two shipyards in La Ciotat and Barcelona.

“At the end of the day, we are trying to build at Evolution Yachting a unified team in order to make the client experience as simple as it possibly can be. Upon completion, we will have one central platform that is used both internally and by clients to ensure that client information and Evolution services are shared across all locations, this will enable us to be far more proactive and deliver the level of service and transparency expected of the superyacht market.”

Evolution Yachting’s rapid geographical and technological growth has come at a pivotal time for the yachting market. On the one hand, superyacht owners and charter guests have become more expansive in terms of the areas they wish to travel to. At the same time, superyacht clients are now quite rightly demanding more in terms of transparency and service level than ever before. Evolution Yachting, therefore, is aiming to create a one-stop-shop superyacht agency service that covers Europe’s key yachting spots, with a mind to expanding beyond Europe in the future.

“Our aim is to have a presence in all major ports and countries, which agents today don’t have,” explains Lliteras. “The system has to be easy to use for both our various teams and the various stakeholders working on behalf of the client to use. The system will allow the client to check invoices, statements of account and the last service we completed with them, as well as allowing them to edit the upcoming service. Our system will have no hidden costs and will be completely transparent before the client arrives in port. We want to be proactive in order to offer the best possible service before the client necessary asks for it. Like a hotel, there will be a minimum standard of service every time we are engaged by a client and a vast number of additional services as and when they are required.”

Superyacht agency remains one of the most maligned lines of business in the yachting community thanks in large to the propensity on the part of certain companies to include opaque and variable pricing systems. It is refreshing to see a business working towards an open book-style model of agency that should provide a certain degree of clarity and confidence to an increasingly expectant client pool.

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