Monday, 27th January 2014
One of the superyacht industry’s most respected and successful brokers, Chris Cecil-Wright has set up his own boutique yacht brokerage company, Cecil Wright, which specialises in the sale charter and build of the ultimate luxury yachts.
How did you begin your career in business?
I started off in the Army, but I broke my back which meant I had to find something else I enjoyed doing as much. I looked at every aspect of yachting and decided that selling was the only guaranteed way of making money.
When did you first get into sailing?
I have a photo of me on the floorboards of a Hornet, wrapped in a baby blanked. The first memory I have is crewing a Cadet for my eldest brother – I guess I was about four.
What experience do you have of the world of superyachts?
The first speryacht I sold was the Bolero (a 105-ft Freres Sloop) – yachts were smaller then. I raced her in Antiqua and looked after the owner’s interest in her for 20 years – I sold her a few years ago. I have also been involved with every conceivable superyacht since from 50m, 30-knot Feaships, to most recently the commissioning and launch of the world’s largest Feadship, Madame Gu. I particularly like working with the best-quality yards, and have commissioned and sold more than half a kilometre of Feadship yachts.
What motivated you to set up Cecil Wright?
I felt the time was right, both personally and in the market. My vision is to use technology to help keep my business small and focused.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced in the early days?
Well, I feel like I’m very much still in the early days. The biggest challenge so far has been to establish a business that offers the level of professionalism of the large yacht brokers, but with the benefits that only a smaller company can offer. I have handpicked a small but very experienced, team of individuals, and believe that our skills-set, use of technology and outstanding contacts enable us to offer clients the ultimate service.
What are the key factors needed to be a successful yacht broker?
If I told you I’d have to drown you! Seriously, I believe the most important aspect of this business is understanding people rather than boots. Knowing about yachts is a necessity, but the difference is in the detail. We are small enough to take time to know each client extremely well so that we can pre-empt their requirements in many ways, always aiming to surpass expectations.
Why should someone interested in superyachts come to Cecil Wright?
Because we build a relationship with you before we sell or charter you a yacht. This is not a sales technique; it’s just something I have noticed that seems to have happened before I have sold any yacht. With today’s technology a buyer can search for what he thinks he wants and easily find it. If he talks to us, we will help in refining the requirement, and the client will almost certainly end up with a yacht he or she had not originally considered, but one that will fulfil the brief and more. We have clients whom we have known for many years, and new clients who are looking at chartering, buying or building a superyacht for the first time. Our aim is to make the process extremely professional, but also enjoyable, so whether it is chartering a yacht for a dream holiday or starting the process of building a yacht, we will do the hard work and make it fun! www.cecilwright.com