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The real state of the superyacht and UHNW sectors

Day One of The Superyacht Forum Live kicked off with a review of key UHNW sectors, as well as exploring how sustainable the market’s performance is…

Day One of The Superyacht Forum Live kicked off with a review of how key UHNWI sectors, including the superyacht market, are performing in line with wealth statistics, as well as casting a critical eye on how sustainable the market’s current performance is. Martin Redmayne, Chairman of The Superyacht Group, was joined on stage by Nic Arnold of JTC Private Office, BNP’s Olivier Blanchet, Paolo Casani from Camper & Nicholsons International and Flora Harley of Knight Frank.
 
The superyacht market’s booming performance has been well reported on, but Blanchet and Harley, by way of comparison, lifted the lid on the performance of the private aviation. Blanchet described the private aviation market as being “dry” in so far as there was little to no inventory available to buy in the immediacy. Equally, Harley explored the boom in activity amongst the prime and superprime real estate markets, highlighting financial growth amongst the ultra-wealthy and changing the changing usage habits that have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Blanchet, however, caveated the euphoria around the superyacht industry’s excellent performance with a couple of hard truths. Firstly, issues relating to the supply chain, raw material costs and capacity are likely to have an impact of shipyards’ ability to meet deadlines, as well as potentially having an effect on profit margins. Secondly, he implored the market to not simply look at unitary UHNW numbers, and to consider the wealth boundaries in line inflation and real purchasing power. Both Harley and Blanchet suggested that the booming sales period was likely to cool in the future.
 
Casani meanwhile urged the industry to develop the ways in which it communicates with buyers, especially those from the younger generations. This, he stressed, is not simply a matter of adjusting marketing materials, but changing the way we communicate across the board with buyers across various sectors, locations and demographics, ensuring that the yachting market was able to tap into the values of potential buyers.
 
The challenges facing the market, everyone agreed, were many and varied and Arnold highlighted the need for the industry as a whole to mature and consider the advice that clients are being provided. Such are the complexities of the market, it is no longer sufficient for individuals who are not experts in a particular area to provide advice without the necessary expertise. The impact poor advice can have on a client is significant and the desire for a quick sale must become secondary to completing a good sale.
 
All the speakers highlighted that the market has to pull together and create a unified strategy to help overcome some of the many challenges that are being faced today. Chief among these ideas was the notion that the superyacht industry needs to increase the utility value of the products themselves. It is no longer sufficient to simply say that a superyacht is for leisure, projects need to be created that provide more tangible utility, whether that refers to business, sustainability or any other form of utility.

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The real state of the superyacht and UHNWI sectors

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