In June we launched our One to One concept, which originated as a result of the seismic changes the industry and wider world has undergone this year. We showcased that The Superyacht Group truly believes opportunity arises from adversity, and we set out to encourage the industry to embark upon a ‘Brave New World’ with us, where we can all build a more robust market through the formulation of new practices, processes and initiatives.
Over the course of the One to Ones thus far, these candid conversations have revealed topics and questions that our guests have been wanting to voice for months and even years, but have not had the right platform or time to do so.
The One to Ones continue to represent an opportunity for some of the industry’s brightest minds, from every sector, to speak publicly and honestly about where our market currently stands, the latest news and/or frustrations from their sector, where our industry could be in the future and how we can be sustained for the long-term…
Captain Brendan O’Shannassy highlighted the historical fixation with form over function and the consequences of this notion: “There is nobody standing there [to assist] when this incredibly-crafted piece of machinery will not work and you’re sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…”
Paul Miller, Director of Underwriting at Hiscox MGA expressed his concerns about risk management, or a lack thereof as part of a more endemic absence of due diligence within yachting: “You’ve probably been negotiating your refit or maintenance period for a reasonable amount of time. And the insurance factor still tends to be a bit last-minute…”
Nic Arnold, Tax Director in PwC’s Private Office revealed that, “The frustration in the industry, is that if we are really going to raise the bar [in terms of] quality of advice, governance relating to tax, yacht builds and crew experience, everyone needs to take more responsibility for understanding what that holistic experience is like…”
“The industry is becoming more structured in terms of its services and, moving forward, transparency and ethics are going to play a central role in effective business plans,” said Stefano Tositti, CEO and Chairman of Evolution Yachting when discussing the evolution of the superyacht agent…
Joseph Adir, CEO and founder of WinterHaven, adopted the candid nature of the One to One format quickly, stating; “I started my journey in the superyacht industry out of sheer desire to help a friend that was looking to finance a shipyard… I thought it would be a walk in the park, but down the road, we realised that it was more of a walking nightmare.”
Craig Norris, CEO of Victoria International Marina, Canada, clarified some misconceptions about his alternative to the world’s tried and tested superyacht destinations. “The key thing is to dispense with some of the perceptions that people have of Canada and the West Coast. It is a beautiful place in the summer, a beautiful place in the winter and it very rarely snows here…”
On the topic of how the industry can attract new and younger clients, and what needs to change in the new-build process in order to do so, Derek Munro, director at Divergent Yachting and chairperson of Superyacht Charities said, “I think we really need to try and sort out this reputation that we have of not being upfront, not being transparent, and clients not knowing exactly where all their funds are going…”
Operationally, Richard Faulkner, CEO and founder of Compass Tenders believes that crew need to be more skilled and more careful with the use of tenders: “These tenders are very high-value items and we see an element of misuse or lack of care. It could be that the crew aren’t given the time to look after them, and training is an overall issue.”
“The main challenge for us at the moment is informing our customers about what is possible,” began Richard Klabbers, managing director of Sevenstar and DYT Yacht Transport, speaking freely about the current migratory landscape.
Vripack’s Marnix Hoekstra commented on whether or not the market has become predictable; “The word 'boring' comes to mind far too often. From our perspective, that is definitely something that we can improve or change. We could inspire people, and I am not talking about whacky futuristic concepts…”
“The thing that always frustrated me about the market was the tendency for people to use economic muscle to bully others,” began our most recent speaker, John Leonida, PhD Researcher and Consulting Superyacht Industry Advisor, who went straight to the point during his One to One. “It has, I hasten to add, diminished over the last 10 years, but it is still there in the background and, sadly, it is part of the culture of the superyacht industry…”
Our Digital Dialogues are short, sharp two-person interviews, lasting no more than 20 minutes, with some being published via SuperyachtNews, and some broadcast live, with invited attendees able to engage and interact with the speakers. If you have missed any of these conversations thus far, we welcome you to peruse our entire archive which is available here.
If you want to take part in this exciting series to share your experiences over the last few months, to get a topic off your chest, or to simply showcase your enviable home-office, contact Research Editor, Clare Sidwell to register your interest.
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