GYG plc CEO Remy Millott outlines the importance of a global approach
One of the challenges of managing a growing company is ensuring that you devote time and focus on each area of the business with a clear perspective on where today’s and, as importantly, tomorrow’s profits are likely to come from. It’s very easy to get drawn to the parts of the business that are closest to home or you are most familiar with and get bogged down in operational matters. Sometimes I find the best way to tackle this is to block a couple of days and focus on mapping out the future. I recently did this with the USA leadership team and came away feeling very positive about Pinmar’s future.
We founded Pinmar’s USA division in Fort Lauderdale in 2008 and over the last decade it has become one of the Group’s most important territories. Our strategic market analysis suggests significant future growth opportunities exist for Pinmar in the USA and there are three very solid indicators which underpin our confidence in the US market.
Firstly, the continued rate of growth of USA billionaires as highlighted by Forbes’ ultra-high net wealth individuals (UHNWI’s) report published in March 2019. There are 50% more billionaires in the USA now than 10 years ago and with a compound annual growth rate of around 5%, which is forecast to increase, there is no shortage of potential owners.
Secondly, The Superyacht Migration Report in June confirms that 21% of the superyacht fleet is spending the off-season on the east coast of the USA and suggests the reason a greater proportion of the fleet currently migrates to the Mediterranean is due to the better refit infrastructure in Europe. Now that the major new refit facilities are operational at Rybovich and Savannah with Derecktor’s new facility at Fort Pierce due in 2020, we anticipate an increasing number of large superyachts will take advantage of the cost and convenience of completing refits in the US.
The third reason we are confident about Pinmar’s growth opportunity in the USA is the increasing barriers to entry to our most valuable segment of the market, the 70m+ superyachts. As the industry matures, with lesser numbers of new build shipyards producing larger yachts, there is a growing recognition of brand value. The elite group of European yards that dominate the large new build sector have invested heavily to build the global reputation of their brands. Increasingly they recognise the need to protect those brands by seeking to govern the quality of the refit service experience for their owners. To do this they to need to develop global service networks with reliable partners who have the scale & experience to deliver quality services in multiple locations. This is exemplified by the introduction of the Feadship Refit Programme. It’s no coincidence that Pinmar paints around 50% of new Feadships and has provided refit services to over 35% of its entire fleet of nearly 200 yachts. There are very few superyacht paint companies that offer a global network of refit locations permanently staffed by highly experienced teams and marketed under a brand that has spent 40 years earning a reputation for quality, integrity and service.
Having a clear insight to the market potential and with the new infrastructure required to support superyachts over 70m now available we are gearing up to capitalise the USA opportunity. I recently appointed Derik Wagner as Managing Director and have challenged him with spearheading growth. Derik brings more than 20 years of global sales, business development and management experience, most recognized in the satellite and superyacht industries for his previous role as Managing Director of MTN’s Yacht Service business where he led the company to the top of their game achieving recognition as the preferred supplier of global managed VSAT services for the superyacht industry. Derik is exceptionally well connected especially in the USA but most importantly for me he’s a guy with a clear vision and strong leadership skills. He is already setting a challenging agenda for the US team and making sure that everyone’s aligned with the latest goals.
Derik is fortunate to have inherited a very experienced team of professionals, many of whom have been with Pinmar since its inception in the USA. Phil Burgess who has been running the day to day business for several years now has moved across to head up Sales, with his vast experience and connections in the industry will be hugely complimentary to Derik’s task. He will also be adding new hires to strengthen the management team and to increase our capacity at the new Pinmar paint facility in Savannah. Derik is also looking at opportunities to improve the effectiveness of our supply chain and expand the range of Pinmar services in the US.
With FLIBS coming up in a few weeks’ time it will be a good opportunity for me to see how Derik and his team are progressing. Everyone is looking forward to the winter refit programme ahead and I am keen to see how the orderbook develops for 2020 and beyond.
Article originally appeared in The Superyacht Report 198