The advisory network that operates in and around the superyacht market is a challenging one to navigate. Assembling a robust advisory team requires the striking of a balance between trust and expertise and, for a buyer new to the superyacht market, it can be hard to know where to start looking.

The experience of purchasing or building a superyacht should be an enjoyable one and the role of a broker is integral to this, facilitating the myriad complexities relating to the entire process. However, a potential yacht owner new to the industry will want to do ample research before committing to working with a particular brokerage house and broker.

“The first step is to find a yacht broker that the potential owner trusts and feels comfortable with,” explains Patrick Coote, chief marketing officer at Northrop & Johnson. “The best owner/broker relationships are built on mutual trust and open communication. The yacht broker will be able to introduce the owner to captains, yacht managers, shipyards and project managers who can join the new-build team.”

Many shipyards have project managers on staff that will work with the owner, yacht broker and captain throughout the build process, but an owner may want to employ an outside project manager to act on his or her behalf. Additionally, if an owner is considering employing a yacht manager to facilitate the yacht, it is prudent to bring on the yacht manager before the new build begins as the yacht manager will be able to work with the owner, yacht broker and captain throughout the build process. 

The glamour of the industry and the wealth of clients is very alluring and many companies may advertise services to owners and buyers without actually having the right experience and expertise...

As in other industries, the superyacht industry has many ‘cowboys’ masquerading as experts, in all fields from brokerage to management. The glamour of the industry and the wealth of clients is very alluring and many companies may advertise services to owners and buyers without actually having the right experience and expertise.

“When choosing an advisor, whether general or specialist, a buyer should look for someone with true experience, a proven track record and real expertise in their given field,” adds Alexander McBarnet, partner at Rhone High Value Asset Services SA. “The advertisements and websites of advisors and their companies are designed to make them seem appealing, so buyers should seek recommendations from other yacht owners or their existing trusted advisors and look for an advisor with a solid reputation.” 

Coote also agrees that the best means of avoiding those who wish to take advantage is to do research, to ask for references and to go with instinct; “Brokers, managers, captains and shipyards should provide you with testimonials and may even put new owners in contact with current or previous clients who can adequately inform the potential new owner on the benefits or even the downfalls of working with these individuals.”

The newly-published The Superyacht Buyer Report provides a comprehensive reference tool for any client and their advisory team throughout the buyer’s journey. The report features 16 sequential chapters that outline this journey, with respected experts from every sector advising on best practice at each stage of the ownership process. The second chapter – ‘Finding the right advisor’ – explores how prospective buyers can best set up an experienced and trusted advisory network to help with the purchase process.

To read the ‘Finding the right advisor’ chapter in full, please  click here


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