As the superyacht industry continues to mature and professionalise, even some of the market’s most established sectors and businesses are having to amend and adapt their time-honoured practices. Following the acquisition of Moravia Yachting in 2017, Hill Robinson Group believes it has struck upon a balance between specialised technical & operational services and retail services that truly echo what contemporary superyacht clients require today.
“Hill Robinson has always wanted to maintain its focus on highly specialised services to superyacht owners. Operational guidance, regulatory guidance, technical management and specialist advice, the kind of advice that ultimately saves owners money and insulates them from risk, will always be Hill Robinson’s foundation,” starts Kurt Fraser, Hill Robinson Group’s sales and marketing director. “Moravia Yachting presented an excellent opportunity for Hill Robinson to expand into the retail services that had often been requested by its clients. Importantly, however, there will continue to be a natural separation between the two businesses. There are synergies and the two collaborate frequently but they are two distinct businesses. ”
Kurt believes that the direction of travel from specialised services into retail services is an important factor when considering how Hill Robinson Group’s brokerage and management offerings differ from the more traditional models, where, on occasion, the latter is seemingly of secondary concern to the retail sectors that are driven by commission models. Furthermore, by placing greater emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, both from within the group and beyond, Kurt feels that the model espoused by Hill Robinson and Moravia is more in line with the standards expected of an industry that is rapidly maturing.
“Moravia’s model is less about the development of a highly visual brand and more focussed on the completion of highly personalised and often very discreet retail services for clients who perhaps want a different style of service,” continues Kurt. “Our team has been hand-picked to buy into a more team-based approach and, as a result, we are stronger than the sum of our parts. Knowledge and information in speciality areas are the king these days and we know that we are in a far stronger position by adopting a team-based approach. What Hill Robinson has always concentrated on is the development of a philosophy and approach to work that applies across the group. At every turn we want to add value and look at things from the clients perspective.”
According to Kurt, as the technical, operational, regulatory, and financial environment of superyachts gets increasingly complex year on year, it's becoming unrealistic for individuals to be experts in every speciality area and, in order to hold true to its approach, the Hill Robinson Group must always seek to add maximum value to its clients by working both collectively as a team and with third party experts.
“It has to be about adding value and sharing knowledge and experience in the strongest possible way because ultimately that helps owners make more informed business decisions,” explains Kurt. “Absolutely nothing in this space should be one-size-fits-all. Our services are designed to suit individuals needs and situations, we take a collaborative team approach in order to provide unbiased decisive guidance.”
As Hill Robinson reaches its 20th year in business and Moravia Yachting continues to go from strength to strength, including some solid organic growth within a competitive US market, Kurt is confident that both businesses are moving in the right direction. By focusing on reputation and highly personalised services rather than brand, he is optimistic that the model that both Hill Robinson and Moravia Yachting operates strikes the perfect balance between the efficiency of systems of the world’s largest brokerage and the highly personalised approach practised by some of the industry’s boutique operators.
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