Taken place in Monaco on September 24, the General Assembly of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) hosted all but one of the member yards. They unanimously re-elected the current SYBAss board for a new three-year term, as well as discussed a range of exciting plans to extend the joint business-to-consumer approach being taken by SYBAss.
The General Assembly was welcomed to Monaco by Audrey Lorenzi on behalf of the Monaco Yacht Show. She outlined some of the ambitious plans for growth at the show over the coming years and stressed how much the event organisers valued the input and support of SYBAss members who will then be able to display even more of their yachts in Monaco.
Expansion of activities was also very much on the agenda as the General Assembly agreed to significantly increase its business-to consumer focus. An in-depth study commissioned by SYBAss over the past year has looked at how the top yards can engage the significant proportion of high wealth individuals around the world who have yet to consider purchasing a superyacht. London-based agency Jago Partners explained the consumer-oriented identity it has been developing for SYBAss in relation to external communications. The General Assembly agreed to the agency’s recommendations to significantly increase both the profile of and the budget for this approach. This SYBAss B2C strategy, which was first initiated a year ago, will now be further fine-tuned and expanded via an impressive range of activities.
One of the reasons why the SYBAss members are prepared to invest is the desire to leverage on the improving economic situation by introducing the superyacht lifestyle to a new generation of owners. There are more people capable of buying a superyacht than ever before and many of those who are capable of investing in their own pleasure have greater purchasing power than was the case prior to the current recession. This point was emphasised by Rutger Mohr of The Boston Consulting Group, who elucidated on the latest edition of the SYBAss Economic Report in a presentation aptly entitled ‘Bright spells on the horizon.’ Combining statistical data with information on the impact of the economy on the wealth of the SYBAss members’ target audience enabled Mohr to give a well-founded estimate of future demand in the superyacht industry.
Other speakers addressed the General Assembly on equally interesting topics. Jay Tooker of Holman Fenwick Willan LLP elaborated on business principles within the superyacht industry. Sofia Zyrianova, who has replaced Robert van Tol as Operational Director at SYBAss, provided an overview of the latest superyacht data collected by SYBAss. Last but not least, Jim Lee of Boat International Media provided superyacht market statistics related to non-members as part of the SYBAss Statistics Report.
The general air of positivity was further reinforced by the unanimous re-election of the SYBAss board – Michael Breman (Lürssen), Fabrizio Sgariglia (Perini Navi), Vincenzo Poerio (Benetti), Billy Smith (Trinity), Koos Zitman (Feadship) and secretary general Theo Hooning. “I see this very much as a tribute to the members of the board who have served SYBAss so well over the past three years,” concludes Hooning. “Despite having an incredibly busy schedule at their own yards, the board members have shown an exceptional willingness to travel the world and put the professional interests of the overall superyacht industry first. The fruits of their efforts are clear for all to see.”