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Simon Cardiff brings a unique variety of skills and knowledge to the superyacht industry. A former engineering officer in the Royal Australian Navy turned corporate lawyer in London, Simon established the yacht management team with Carey Group in Monaco. He consults on ownership issues and writes about 'Issues in Superyacht Ownership' at simoncardiff.
What is your involvement with the superyacht industry and why do you feel it is important?
S. Cardiff: Last year, I set up a yacht management function at Carey Group to serve some of its existing trust company client base from the Monaco office. Coming from a legal and naval background outside the industry and then dealing with owners' joys and horrors, I saw that there is room for owners and private offices to introduce more discipline and clarity into their own approaches to superyacht ownership. My philosophy is that planning, governance and asset management can help owners and private offices to develop ownership strategies and to evaluate the execution of them by the broader superyacht team as a way to ensure that owners get what they really want out of being superyacht owners.
A focus group at this year's Global Superyacht Forum asks 'Can we present a clearer picture of the realities of ownership in order to ensure owners know what they are getting into?' In your opinion, how can this be achieved?
S. Cardiff: It is up to owners to inform themselves and get the right advice when they make any decisions about superyacht ownership – just like for any other type of investment. This includes assessing whether the vast rewards warrant taking on the significant long-term risk that superyacht ownership can introduce into their family's estate. These rewards include the intangible and experiential outcomes of owning superyachts. On the other hand, talking about the "realities" of ownership really means talking about costs and risks. Owners or their private offices need to understand what these are. Of course, some owners are not particularly interested in these sorts of details – that is their prerogative.
But other owners want to understand the ownership milestones, costs and risks that will arise throughout the years that they own the yacht, which is what I call the 'superyacht ownership lifecycle'. General principles of investment and asset management can contribute to a disciplined, transparent and business-like decisionmaking process. At a minimum, potential and existing owners should appreciate that the total cost of ownership is more than just the purchase price plus annual yacht running costs. Owners and/or their private offices need to assemble the right team, who are all accountable for their advice and actions, that will ensure that owners can enjoy superyacht ownership with their families and friends for longterm, while keeping superyachting within their realistic financial reach.
If you could choose one topic for discussion at this year's Global Superyacht Forum, what would it be?
S. Cardiff: Other good topics for discussion are around yacht aesthetics and standards of luxury onboard service. These are defining elements of superyachting and require the cooperation of a wide range of experts and suppliers to get them right, from the yacht's initial conception through to disposal. I am particularly interested in hearing about the creative and project management processes that deliver what owners ask for: processes that rely on effectively integrating design, naval architecture, engineering, construction and the delivery of onboard luxury service.
Simon is participating in Monday 17 November's session 'Breaking Brokerage'. To view the full programme, please click visit www.globalsuperyachtforum.com/programme.
Awlgrip, Caterpillar, Cathelco, Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, Clyde & Co, MTN Communications, MTU Friedrichshafen, Palladium Technologies, R & Q Marine Services(Yachtsure24) and Struik & Hamerslag proudly sponsor this year’s Global Superyacht Forum.
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