July 29 2021
29 Jul 2021
Please introduce yourself and how you became involved in the yachting industry?
My name is Gaspard Milazzo, CEO and Yacht Broker at G-Yachts in Monaco. I was born on the French Riviera and since a very young age and thanks to my family, I have always been passionate about sailing and due to my dad, a true boat and sea lover, I have always been involved in the world of yachting. During my teens, my family was running a small boat brokerage company in the port of Mandelieu-La-Napoule on the west side of Cannes. Thus, I became very quickly passionate about this beautiful world of yachting and my sisters and I began to work for the family business very early. Learning how every little detail of this world was extremely important, I spent thousands of days in the port during my childhood and always told myself that I would spend my entire life working in this industry! Decades later, here we are!
What encouraged you to found G-Yachts?
Long before G-Yachts, it all started from a family passion for the sea and of course, a family business founded by my dad. The first company was called Cannes Nautic, which ran for almost 25 years and which I consider the basis of everything that happened next. I finally decided to expand and create my own business, Gaspard Yachts, in 1999, when I considered being mature and experienced enough to run a yachting business myself. For 15 years I gave my all to the company, and finally decided to stop Gaspard Yachts and take time to reflect on the future. At this time, Monaco had clearly become the world capital of yachting. Two years later, I finally decided to move there to rebuild a new customer base and thus, created G-Yachts in 2016. A few months later, I encountered Jetcraft, the number one company in private aviation sales worldwide. We finally decided to partner up with Jetcraft and since then are very proud to work with such a brilliant company.
Do you have any standout yacht sales experiences - or particular vessels on your books that are special?
I think one of the most standout yacht sales experiences was the most recent one, the sale of an iconic 55-metre sailing yacht. We made an offer with our client in September for this boat, unfortunately, the central agent at the time told us that the sailing yacht was finally already under offer. We did not leave it and constantly came back to them and finally, back in December, they told us that the yacht was still available. Everything was ready for the deal to happen but now, the yacht had to go to the shipyard to undergo some technical repairs and thus, the deal could not happen for the second time. Finally, in February, when the repairs were done, the deal was going to be closed but the yacht was in the harbour the day of the deal with an average 40 knots wind…
The client absolutely wanted to finalise the deal the 11th, of February, so this special day, not before, not after. Everyone was ready, but the captain had to wait to get out of the harbour due to extremely windy conditions and especially the yacht’s size. We were making weather checkpoints every hour. At 10pm, the captain and the pilot specially requested decided to leave the port. The yacht arrived in international waters at 11:45 pm. We were constantly calling the captain and checking everything from our office in Monaco, which was quite intense. Fortunately, everyone was ready with the documents on the seller and the buyer’s part, and we succeeded to close the deal just a few minutes before midnight! Indeed, it was the most stressful sale experience, twice the deal was going to be closed but finally nothing happened, and the story was going to repeat itself the third time, but we took all the chances on our side to make it happen. It was stressful, especially when the future owner tells you as a joke “If I cannot sign this deal today, the 11th, I will never sign it”.
With the recent profusion in yacht sales, how do you see the market changing in the second half of the year?
The market, although still experiencing a global pandemic, is currently evolving at a very fast pace. I do not think the market will “change” but simply “confirm” what has been happening these past six months. We are currently in the busiest season of the year for charters and the sales side is going at a very fast pace as well so, hopefully, things keep being busy for the rest of the year. A big transition will occur at the 2021 Monaco Yachts Show which I consider the most iconic, important, and recognised event in the industry. In terms of yacht sales, this event should generate an important rise for the last three months of the year and already prepare 2022 with early sales created around this period. Again, I would not use the word “change” but “confirm”. The demand has indeed been extremely high these past six months and the coming six months will be their “conclusion”, as well as the preparation for 2022.
What does the future look like for G-Yachts?
Bright, I hope! On a more serious note, we have the chance to stay very flexible and can handle any unexpected problems, the perfect example is of course what happened recently with the Covid pandemic, which fortunately, did not really affect us. At the same time, we have an international presence while still being that modest company which is a real strength but more importantly, we do know every single one of our customers personally and I give a huge importance to the human side of the business. The team completely changed in the span of a year and a half, and we are still growing modestly. We had the chance to acquire some young and extremely talented professionals to join our more experienced “old guard”. Being all passionate about the industry and ready for the constant challenges is what I am absolutely looking for and what I consider two crucial factors to succeed in this exciting but highly demanding industry. We do have a lot of very interesting internal projects coming up in the next months as well as some more public ones aiming to maintain our message of passion, professionalism, and expertise in the industry. Our dedication, thanks to our passion for yachting and our client’s relationship, are our number one strength, and the goal here is to constantly demonstrate it to every single person working alongside G-Yachts.