TECH GIANT
Yacht Style|Issue 61
Camper & Nicholsons’ recent achievements include selling the 105m Lady Moura and adding the 126m Octopus to its charter and management fleets, but CEO Paolo Casani is most excited about the company’s focus on proprietary technology to engage clients in the new era.
JOHN HIGGINSON

What have been the biggest changes at Camper & Nicholsons in your six years as CEO and how has the job compared to your time as CEO of Azimut-Benetti and President of Fraser?

Over the past six years, Camper & Nicholsons has evolved into one of the most important and complete luxury service companies for yachts for two main reasons. One, we’ve greatly improved the integration of all our departments, and two, we’ve been facilitated by the acquisition of a new technological platform that allows us to build new, ultramodern tools for our sales teams.

Our technology gives us incredible strength and quality on the market and increases the value of the company assets. Technological advancements are not only one of the most important changes of the past few years but will also be increasingly important for the coming years as well.

As for my earlier roles, working for a shipyard and working for a brokerage is quite different. Probably the only common thing is that we work with the same clients, but everything inside the companies is totally different.

Why has C&N focused so much on its online presence, software, and communication?

I think we are almost the leader in this area in the brokerage industry, but if you ask me if I’m satisfied, I’d tell you no. Camper & Nicholsons is growing well, thanks to the investment we’ve made, but our plans are more and more ambitious, so we plan to do much more.

The digitalization level of our company will increase more in the coming years because we believe this is one of the most important ways to develop the company. We think the combination of technology and competencies – like experienced sales and charter brokers, experienced staff in all our different departments like yacht management and insurance, which is increasingly important for us – are of paramount importance to the success of the company in the future.

Camper & Nicholsons has an important characteristic compared to the other brokerage houses in that our technologies are proprietary technologies. We do not buy our software and services from other providers. We develop everything in-house. We have a team of engineers planning and building all our in-house software. They’ve been completely re-engineering the digital ecosystem of the company. That’s the most important effect of acquiring a tech company, as we did in 2019. We’ve done a lot and there is a lot to do. We have quite an ambitious plan.

It’s very important to stress this because we store all our data in-house, which is important because we manage very confidential information for our clients.

What are your thoughts on the changes to the Monaco Yacht Show following the 2020 cancellation and the reorganization behind the scenes?

Firstly, let me say the Monaco Yacht Show is the most important megayacht show in the world by far and it’s a very important window for clients all over the world. It’s an occasion that everyone in this industry waits for to meet people and see mega yachts.

Having said that, we think the show should evolve more to attract a new generation of clients with different initiatives, with technology that’s more attractive to this new generation. The existing clients are already in touch with us, so we know how to interact with them and negotiate with them.

As such, the Monaco Yacht Show needs to attract the new, younger generation of clients with the possibility to buy or charter yachts but who don’t yet feel the need or the attraction to do so. We need to bring them, show them on board, to create the possibility to buy, show them the possibility of a different lifestyle. Connecting with the next generation of buyers is the biggest growth opportunity for the superyacht industry in the coming years.

How important is your Monaco office among your global network?

Monaco is not our headquarters, but it’s our most important operational office and has 60 staff out of our total of 140. Monaco remains the hub of megayachts, and many owners have houses or businesses there. Today, Camper & Nicholsons has offices around the world – five in Europe, three in the US and one in Asia, in Hong Kong.

Which departments generate the most revenue for C&N?

The two most important revenue generators are sales/brokerage and charter, which are almost at the same level. Under sales, I include our new build division, which was launched almost three years ago.

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