McCartney’s ticket to ride brings breakfast with movie star

Vincent McCartney, CEO, Camper and Nicholsons Corporate Services.

Vincent McCartney is CEO, Camper and Nicholsons Corporate Services.

He’s no stranger to the uber rich but even Vincent McCartney was starstruck when he was invited to have breakfast with a movie legend.

McCartney, who now heads up Camper and Nicholsons’ newly created corporate services department, thought he was travelling to the remote island for a routine business meeting but ended up sharing pastries with the Hollywood star.

“When I arrived, there was this other incredibly famous individual present, and it was a famous multi-award-winning Hollywood actor,” says McCartney.

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He was there with his wife, sipping coffee and eating croissants, and he just said, ‘Nice to meet you, come and join us.’ So we sat there for about an hour having breakfast. At the end I stood up and said something like, ‘OK, well, lovely to have met you’, shook his hand and left to continue my scheduled meeting.

“After I left, I just thought, ‘Wow, I’ve just had breakfast with Mr So and So’. It doesn’t daunt me, but you just think for a moment, what other careers give you this type of an opportunity?”

‘Compelling moment’

McCartney has experienced plenty of “pinch-me” moments in his much-travelled career advising well-known clients and ultra-high net worth families around the world.

Another time he was invited to the London home of an “incredibly high-profile individual” who was buying a new-build yacht.

“I walked in to his home, sat in his lounge, there were family photos everywhere, he comes in dressed very casually, very relaxed, and we just chatted,” he says. “He asked me to find his wife some tasks to keep her occupied . Afterwards, you think to yourself, I was just asked to delegate work to this famous individual’s wife, and this is when you realise you’ve become part of their trusted inner circle, which is a compelling moment.

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Superyacht Illusion is managed by Camper and Nicholsons.

Superyacht Illusion is managed by Camper and Nicholsons.

‘Remove the headache’

McCartney’s belief in the power of relationships – “It’s what I’m all about” – helped land him the CEO position at Camper and Nicholsons Corporate Services after meeting Paolo Casani, group chief executive, and other stakeholders.

He describes Casani as “very visionary” and someone who is “always looking at how he can add value to the client offering”. An in-house corporate services department was one of the “last pieces of the jigsaw”, says McCartney, who joined in September 2023.

His team’s role is to help clients with the responsibilities and liabilities of yacht ownership, and he advises clients in areas such as ownership structure, optimal jurisdictions, tax efficiencies, legal frameworks and administration. He works closely with Camper and Nicholsons’ various other departments and a “network of the best-in-class intermediaries” to “remove the headache many clients and family offices have when interacting with multiple firms”, he says.

“Having seen the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the corporate services industry, I have a firm understanding of what yacht owners need and can tailor our services to each client’s desires,” he adds.

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A sizeable chunk of his work has come from existing clients who are dissatisfied with their current corporate service providers.

“What I’m doing is trying to manage the relationship with the client, and if that means I get them back on track with who they’re working with currently, then great, I’ve added value,” he says.

“If that’s irreparable, then I’m more than happy to talk to the client and bring them in.”

The new-build department is another rich source of work for McCartney’s team. “I have set up three companies in the last eight weeks and I’ve got another four new-build projects I’m working on,” he says.


McCartney grew up in Warwickshire in the UK before moving to London but quickly tired of the city and followed an older sister to the Isle of Man, setting up a successful restaurant and bar. He eventually concluded the lifestyle in hospitality, with its late-night finishes, wasn’t conducive with family life. Leaning into the Isle of Man’s financial hub, he sold up and trained as an auditor before broadening out into corporate services, learning about trust and estate planning, cross-border taxation and the administration of trading companies.

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From those “humble beginnings” he has since worked for companies in Malta, Geneva, the Isle of Man and Hungary, concentrating on the “fascinating” assets of yachts and jets since about 2018.

“What I’ve experienced is that there are some fantastic companies and some awful companies,” says McCartney, who has been based on the Cote d’Azur for the last eight years, often freelancing overseas. “I’ve been getting quite frustrated for the last few years, you know, jumping in and out of companies and working with people who I just don’t feel are in the business for the right reason. They’re there to make quick money at the expense of a client.

“That’s not a business model I like. It’s not something that goes with my own ethics and the way I work.”

The 72m Axioma is for charter with Camper and Nicholsons.

The 72m Axioma is for charter with Camper and Nicholsons.


Over time, McCartney has developed his assured approach to working with ultra-high net worth individuals.

“It’s something that takes time to refine and to craft that kind of interaction. I remember the first time, even with an average client, I would be almost shaking, falling over the words,” he says.

“But once you understand the person and you start building that relationship, it’s just so natural to interact with people.”

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The strength of those relationships can be crucial when things go wrong, such as the time a celebrity couple demanded a certain type of captain and crew, despite being advised to go with more experience. The more “high maintenance” part of the couple put pressure on the crew and mistakes were made.

“Trying to get the balance of what the client thinks they want and what you know they need can be quite hard,” he says.

Then there was the time a captain demanded some charter guests leave the yacht because one had been racist to one of the stewardesses, but the guests returned making threats and the owner wanted to go against the captain to avoid losing the charter fee.

“You’ve got a captain who’s quite rightly defending his yacht and his crew, and you’ve got an owner who’s very much focused on money, because you have different levels of owners; those who can truly afford the yacht and those who can’t,” adds McCartney.

Legally liable

Another time a Swiss owner who had a physical altercation with a captain, who was trying to remove him from the yacht.

“The owner refused to go, so the captain left, and then had the yacht arrested during charter season,” adds McCartney.

In his role, McCartney has to be mindful of all the pieces of the jigsaw as well as managing multiple relationships and characters.

“We’ve got the relationship with the owner, and we’re there to protect the owner as well,” he says. “The captain is the CEO of the vessel and is ultimately responsible but as the director of the owning vehicle, we’re also legally liable if anything goes wrong so we have to make sure that the captain is doing things correctly. It’s very rare they don’t.”

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So where does McCartney see his role and department going in the next five years?

 “I’m all about building further relationships gradually, day by day,” he says. I always look to the longer term, recognising that I’m at the core of a business that is built through relationships with integrity.

“I would rather keep it really bespoke, really for elite clients. You know, it’s the stamp of quality rather than quantity.”

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