Looking back to 2008
NOTE: The below originally appeared as the editorial in our March 18 Superyacht Investor Insight newsletter. To find out more, and sign up for free, please fill out the form on our homepage
It is now eight years since the global financial crisis but it still crept into many of the sessions at Superyacht Investor London 2016.
“Since the financial crisis the deal culture has entered every part of our lives,” said Timothy Clark, senior broker at MySea. “Many customers are looking for a deal.”
Charter customers are still booking later than the used to. The days of brokers joking about working up till May and then taking the summer off have gone.
Many newer customers have become fickle. Fiona Maureso, president of MYBA, agreed: “We still have many clients that have worked with us for years, but there is a trend amongst some to be less loyal to their brokers and shop around. This really did not used to happen as much.”
The same is true for finance – where speakers highlighted the exit of asset based lenders and financiers of smaller yachts – and in sales. Will Christie, a broker at Y.CO, once had a client who bought a yacht purely from a brochure in 2007. He does not see that happening again soon.
Jay Tooker, partner at Holman Fenwick, highlighted the problems that speculative orders caused yards at the height of the downturn. When yards found customers undercutting them simply to move yachts. He sees no signs of speculators returning.
Everyone accepts that the years prior to 2008 will not be repeated for a long time. But in a vote during the conference 45% of delegates expected we will see similar deliveries eventually return to these levels. That will probably be the only time when the industry stops looking back to 2008.