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Sarah Allan
Partner (Shipping & Yachting)
Penningtons Manches Cooper

Sarah is a yacht and superyacht specialist, providing advice to owners, charterers, managers and yards on a range of legal issues. As an accomplished sailor and yachtmaster who has competed at international sailing events and worked on yachts, clients benefit from Sarah’s first-hand experience of the industry.

She leads Penningtons Manches Cooper’s international yacht practice which assists with all aspects of ownership from the firm’s offices in London, Madrid, Paris and Piraeus.

Robert Allen
Robert Allen Law

Robert N. (“Bob”) Allen, Jr., is the senior partner of Robert Allen Law, which focuses a significant part of its practice on the yacht industry. With offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and New York City, its legal team represents buyers, sellers, manufacturers, dealers, brokerages, and banks, with respect to superyachts throughout the world.

He serves as principal outside legal advisor to the International Yacht Brokers Association (“IYBA,” formerly FYBA) and was the primary drafter of the IYBA Purchase and Sale and Listing Agreements, which have become the standard industry forms in the U.S. and are increasingly used in cross-border transactions. His firm also serves as principal legal advisor to two of the largest yacht manufacturing groups in the world, with respect to their operations in the U.S. and the Americas.

He is contributor to Compass, the IYBA’s periodical publication, and a regular speaker at the IYBA’s seminars on legal issues related to the purchase and sale of yachts.

Bob received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from New College. He is fluent in Spanish. He is married and has a 5-year old son.

Matthew Attard
Shipping and Yachting department
Ganado Advocates, Malta

Matthew Attard is a Maritime Lawyer within the Ganado Advocates’ shipping and yachting practice. He main areas of competence include advising on sales/acquisitions and registrations of Commercial and Pleasure Yachts as well as Merchant Vessels under the Malta Flag. Matthew also regularly assists major financial institutions and owners in the financing of vessels, incorporation of Maltese Shipping organisations and all related corporate advice. Matthew is also the Vice President of the Malta Maritime Law Association

Duncan Bateson

Duncan is a marine lawyer experienced in advising on yachts and superyachts, with a particular focus on sale and purchase, construction, finance and related dispute resolution.
Duncan undertakes superyacht and commercial shipping work advising owner of private and commercial yachts, banks, brokers and others on the full range of work, including sale and purchase, finance, new-buildings, charters, insurance, registration, management and joint ventures with related dispute resolution and sanctions advice.
He has advised on superyacht issues for over 25 years. He works closely with many of the big brokerage houses in Monaco, London and the US, as well as independent brokers on the sale and purchase, and the construction of yachts. He also acts for banks and was instrumental in one of the firm’s marine finance panel appointments. He acted on the construction of a 160m+ superyacht in Germany, then the largest in the world, and more recently on what will be the largest residential mega yacht.

Charlie Birkett
Co-Founder & CEO

Charlie founded Y.CO, the Yacht Company in 2004 along with his friend and business partner Gary Wright. As one of the only founder-led and founder-owned yachting companies, Y.CO strives to bring ideas, ingenuity and innovation to the yachting industry, bringing new solutions and services that enhance every aspect of the yachting experience, from yacht sales and charter, to new build, refit, yacht management and charter management.. Experts in escapade, Y.CO has access to the world’s finest superyachts all over the world and is dedicated to delivering more than expected. Whether that means securing clients unparalleled access to an island paradise, or throwing the party of a lifetime, Y.CO ensures guests are living life to the fullest every moment they’re on board.

Richie Blake
Managing Director
Döhle Yachts

Richie Blake is a chartered engineer and Member of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology. After serving at sea as an Engineer he gained a degree in Engineering and joined Lloyds Register. Whilst working for Lloyds Register, Richie was involved with a number of large passenger ship new construction projects in Italy, France and Japan. He was also the Lead Auditor for LR Japan for the ISM and ISPS Codes.

After leaving Lloyds Register he spent a short time with Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding as their Senior Engineer working on a number of new construction projects across their fleets. Richie moved to the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR) in 2006 and served as the Deputy Director in the European Regional Office responsible for all technical operations and policy outside of the Americas and Caribbean regions. During his time with the CISR, Richie was also involved with the introduction of the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) and the development of the Large Yacht Code into LY3.

Richie joined Döhle Yachts in November 2015 as the Director of the company’s Technical Services and was formally appointed as the Managing Director of the Döhle Yachts Group at the end of 2019.

Olivier Blanchet
Head of Jet and Yacht Finance
BNP Paribas

A Graduate of Paris-Dauphine University with a dual master of economics and industrial organizations, Olivier has been also certified in 2019 from the University of Cambridge to develop Positive Impact Business on behalf of the Institute of Sustainability Leadership.
Olivier develops its skills in structuring, credit risk and project management acquired in a Corporate Banking World with a focus on Asset Finance. He develops its skills in various positions as relationship manager, credit analyst, portfolio manager, credit structurer and credit project manager. His specialties include deals origination and structuring, risk management, reengineering and IT projects.
In 2002, he discovered that “God must have been a ship owner or a yacht owner because he placed raw materials and paradises far from where they were needed and covered 2/3 of the earth with water”. Then, he became a Maritime Banker. He developed a sound international business relationships portfolio focus on commercial vessels and ship owners. He launched a financing and advisory offer for Yacht in 2006.
As Head of the Business Jet & Yacht Finance Services, Olivier works in close cooperation with Wealth Management Department by providing specialist guidance for its yacht financing team, particularly in marketing, structuring, loan documentation, making a bridge between UHNWIs and people in charge of Sustainable Development Goals.

Andrew Blundell
Director of Aviation and Marine
Close Brothers Aviation and Marine

Andy leads the Aviation and Marine Finance team’s activities across the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Andy has an in-depth knowledge of aviation and marine financing solutions for both corporate and personal clients, with a financed portfolio covering general aviatio, business aircraft & helicopters, leisure vessels & superyachts. With 35 years experience in banking & finance, Andy has been at Close Brothers for 6 years and was previously at Barclays Corporate Banking and Lombard, where he held a number of senior roles.

Based in London, Andy’s team of industry specialists ensure that clients of Close Brothers Aviation and Marine consistently receive the best quality service available

Michael Breman
Sales Director
Lürssen Yachts

Born in New Zealand with a Dutch nationality, then lived in Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia and Germany, Michael Breman can be described as a multi-cultural, speaking five languages fluently.

Throughout his childhood, sailing boats of various sizes always belonged to his life. During his Atlantic College time in South Wales he helped build what was at that time the world’s largest rigid hull inflatable. Later on Michael made his first practical yachting experience -other than a user- as (the only) deckhand on a beautiful 27 meter Esterel.

Coincidences took him to Saudi Arabia to work for a capital goods trading company based in Jeddah as marketing manager. After seven years fate brought him in 1991 to Italy, where he joined Baglietto, once a builder of the finest sailing yachts but then (as now) an eminent builder of fast motoryachts.

In 1995 Michael met Peter Lürssen and joined his company on the German Riviera where he has been ever since and where he successfully handles the sales of the largest yachts in the world.

Peter Broadhurst
Senior Vice President

Peter started his career at Inmarsat in 2014 as Vice President of Service Delivery for the Maritime business unit, where he was responsible for leading the development of products and services from conception and implementation, through to launch and life cycle management. Peter was instrumental in the launch of Inmarsat’s high-speed broadband service Fleet Xpress launched in March 2016.

With over 25 years’ experience in the maritime industry, Peter began his career at sea as a Radio Officer, before running his own business and working for a maritime distributor. Peter then spent 15 years with Sea Tel Inc., / Cobham SATCOM as Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he was responsible for overseeing and managing global sales, support, marketing, training and product management.

Peter has a HND Electronics, Marine Radio General Certificate, Radar and Marine Navigation Aids accreditation from Wray Castle Merchant Navy School, and holds an Open University, BSc (Hons) First Class degree on Radio Frequency Systems.

Matthew Buley
MIMO Connect Ltd

I have been working in the Superyacht sector for over 15 years, previously working for a Brokerage / Yacht Management Company, moving into communications, as a result running the MTN Yacht division which we renamed PRIVA. During that period I was heavily involved in rebuilding the yacht business following a number of M&A's and since created MIMO Connect with my business partners over 3 years ago, specialising in the supply of VSAT & 4G airtime in conjunction with hardware, not forgetting the development of the MIMO Dome (5G) which assisted in winning Newcomer Technology Company of the Year at the Superyacht Technology Awards. MIMO Connect is purely a connectivity business, built by ex yacht ETO’s and connectivity specialists and as a result we provide a fresh approach to the connectivity sector within the yacht industry, which has been testament to our growth.

Johan Burgren
Business Director Marine Fuel Cells
PowerCell Sweden AB

Johan has over 25 years’ experience in the marine business and transport business solutions, marine technical development as well as service contracts. Throughout the years he has developed a broad network in the marine industry and industrial OEM marketplace. Johan is a frequently engaged speaker and advisory to maritime clients on future fuels, zero and net zero emission technologies.

Rachel Butlin

Rachel is a partner at law firm Ince, based in the City of London office. Her practice focuses on defendant people claims and litigation in which she is instructed by ship and super yacht owners, terminal operators, and their liability insurers, as well as on behalf of brokers and underwriters.
Owners and insurers instruct Rachel on cases involving a broad spectrum of vessels including superyachts, tugs, tenders, supply vessels, container ships, ferries and cruise liners. These include a number of high profile, sensitive cases involving catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injury and spinal damage, as well as fatal claims.
Rachel has particular expertise in protecting owners’ interests in cases where the injuries allegedly sustained are psychiatric/psychological in nature, for example, where there has been an incident or accident on board which has caused trauma to members of the crew. Often multiple and complex issues arise out of these incidents which can be overwhelming for an owner, so Rachel aims to quickly address and advise, provide assistance to and protect the owner as fully as possible. In light of her experience Rachel is also regularly asked to speak and write about those issues, for example in relation to crew mental health.

Andrew Charlier
Partner & Co-Head of Yachts

Prior to joining HFW, Andrew was the global head of yachting for another international law firm and he has over 25 years' experience advising clients on all aspects of the yachting industry, including the purchase and sale, construction, financing, chartering and registration of large yachts.
His practice also covers business aviation transactions namely negotiation and documentation of sales, purchases, finance and leasing, management, regulatory issues, corporate structuring and registration.
Industry guides regularly identify Andrew as market leader in yachting matters, citing his "huge amount of experience in yacht transactions" and "deep understanding of the industry". According to Chambers & Partners HNW 2019, clients say "the 'sheer breadth of what he is involved in' is 'a key strength,' which 'comes from a long knowledge of the sector. His strength is being able to ask the right questions and appraise the contribution being made by other experts.'

Will Christie
Christie Yachts

Will Christie is CEO of Christie Yachts, founded in 2021. Will started Christie Yachts after 20 years in the industry and was previously Head of Sales at a large yacht brokerage house. Christie Yachts focuses on the sale and construction of Superyachts specialising in sourcing off-market opportunities for buyers. Having sold over 2,600 metres of yachts with a total value of EUR 1.4 bn and an average size of over 50 metres, Will is recognized as one of the leading specialists in the Superyacht market.

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Elise Ciappara
Head of Yacht Expeditions
Pelorus Yachting

Elise grew up on the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales. She has been in the yachting industry for over 10 years, working as chief and purser on world travelling yachts from 30 – 90 meters, both private and charter. During this time, she has sailed across the equator in the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, over the Arctic circle, and crossed the Atlantic numerous times. Holding qualifications in with WSET for Wine, Scottish Whisky and International Bartending as well as a Diploma in Norse Mythology, she is currently studying for further qualifications in Comparative Mythology, exploring storytelling trends from all over the world. At Pelorus, Elise is Head of Yacht Expeditions, working with guests, captains and brokers to provide innovative and unique experiences around the world, always with conservation and innovation at the forefront.

Tim Clarke
Quay Crew

Tim Clarke is co-founder and Director of specialist superyacht recruitment agency, Quay Crew. Together with his co-Director, Caroline, the pair have over 10 years’ experience working as deck and interior crew onboard luxury private and charter yachts. After a successful career in corporate recruitment in London working for big banking brands including Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Reuters, Tim set up Quay Crew in 2013.

The agency has since placed over 1,500 crew at all levels on more than 300 prestigious superyachts worldwide and now has over 12 staff with 30 years’ combined onboard experience, plus an additional 40 years’ recruitment expertise.

Tim specialises in Captain roles, combining honest client appraisals with personal coaching and mentoring which is highly regarded. He also plays an active role in supporting crew, yachts, management companies and owners to streamline processes and drive up standards. He does this through the production of in-depth market research and analysis and the development of unique industry partnerships.

Merijn de Waard
Founder & Director
SuperYacht Times

Merijn de Waard is the Founder and Director of SuperYacht Times (SYT), which he established in 2005. The publication has become the leading yachting website for superyacht owners and professionals.

In 2014 a bi-monthly printed newspaper, The SuperYacht Times, was added to the portfolio. The company also publishes a yearly market report and our intelligence system, SYT iQ, is the most powerful and accurate market intelligence tool for superyacht owners and professionals.

In March 2020 SYT also bought the onboard infotainment system YachtEye and in April 2021 the company launched SYT 3D, the first ever superyacht metaverse.

Jamie Edmiston
Chief Executive

Jamie initiated the visionary rebrand of Edmiston almost 20 years ago; a move which permanently transformed marketing across the entire superyacht industry. Under Jamie’s stewardship as Chief Executive, Edmiston remains at the top of the superyacht world. Jamie is actively involved in client relationships throughout the business, consistently resulting in some of the market’s most significant transactions.
In addition to his role as Chief Executive of Edmiston, Jamie is the Chairman of Cambridge based Levidian Nanosystems, a revolutionary climate tech business that is at the forefront of bringing hydrogen to the mainstream.

Joshua Flood
Senior Research Consultant
Valour Consultancy

Joshua Flood is a senior research consultant at Valour Consultancy. He runs the maritime research division and contributes to projects touching aviation connectivity, commercial UAS, enterprise body-worn cameras and other wearable tech.

Ryan Green
Partner – Head of Yacht Management

Ryan’s seagoing career began as an underwater research assistant completing coral reef biodiversity studies in South Africa after which he moved to New Zealand continuing work in the diving industry. As an accomplished free diver he sailed around much of the South Pacific on smaller yachts before moving across to the superyacht industry. Over a period of twelve years he worked and studied his way to command roles on large automated sailing yachts cruising much of the globe.

Ryan joined Burgess in 2013 as a yacht manager developing to a senior level and founding partner in the company’s industry-leading partnership scheme. He took the helm as the Head of Yacht Management at the beginning of 2021. As a core tenet of his business strategy, customer satisfaction and service delivery across all facets of yacht management and the wider industry are paramount. This, along with the sustained development of careers both on and offshore will provide the growth and challenges well into the 21st century.

Ben Hextall
Managing Director
OceanWeb Ltd

Ben holds a PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of Liverpool. After graduating, he began his professional career working for Apple Computers, which is where he discovered an interest in IT communications. Ben founded OceanWeb in 1997, a business that he has developed into a leading international provider of specialist IT and Communication, servicing the global superyacht industry. OceanWeb currently provides satellite airtime, proactive IT support (remote ETO), network solutions, email systems and cyber risk mitigation services to over 100 large yachts.

Mike Hitch
Yacht Captain

Mike started his sea career, straight from school, at the age of 16 and spent his formative years on commercial ships including container, general cargo and passenger ships. A chance meeting in Majorca in 1988 introduced him to the yachting industry where he has been ever since. Mike has commanded yachts from 38m to 140m+ and his last command was on the 142m yacht NORD. Holding a Master Unlimited certificate he has been the build Captain on several yachts from 67m up to 100m+, overseeing the construction in shipyards from California to Northern Europe.
Mike is a member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and a marine consultant for Third Bridge.

Andrew Jameson
Manager Yachts / Loss Adjuster

Since 2013, Andrew has managed the MatDan yacht practice. His on-the-water and shore-based experience with motor and sailing yachts has been key to the successful growth of MatthewsDaniel Yachts. Andrew is the nominated adjuster for a number of the ‘Top 20’ largest superyachts in operation and has dealt with most types of H&M and liability losses. He lectures at the Warsash Maritime Academy, part of Solent University, specialising in the insurance and claim element of the Business & Law syllabus for Superyacht Captains and Officers. His passion for sailing extends into his personal life; a previous Vice Commodore of Lloyd’s Yacht Club, he is an International yacht racing official, World Sailing offshore safety inspector and previously a Committee Member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, all of which keeps his skills and wider view of the yachting world current.

Tim Johnson
CEO & Founder
TJB Super Yachts

I have spent the last 16 years as a broker working with UHNW individuals, and served 14 years in the British Army reserve with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. My career began in private aviation before moving to super yachts. Growing up in a naval family, I developed an early passion for boats, and the yachting industry was a natural transition.

Through my experience at large brokerage houses, I knew I wanted to offer a more bespoke service to my clients – the kind of personal touch that I believe can only be achieved in a boutique firm. Therefore, I chose to found my own company – encapsulating the highly personalised service I found befitting the yachting charter and buying experience. TJB Super Yachts was founded in 2013, and I am proud to say that my company’s quick success is testament to my team’s extraordinary commitment and hard work. Running an innovative business with a strong ethical mind-set pertaining to our core values is challenging, yet also rewarding, as proven by our steady growth and year on year increase in both charters and revenue.

Alex Kemp

Alex specialises in marine insurance and crisis response. He has advised both yacht owners and insurers on a variety of matters affecting large yachts, including fires, groundings, missing vessels, damage sustained whilst being transported, structural defects, main engine damage and damage to gel coatings. He has also advised on yacht casualties including those requiring salvage assistance. Alex has undertaken a secondment at a leading London marine insurer.

Ben Lind
Senior Yacht Underwriter

Building on 13 years as a marine insurance broker at Lloyd's of London with a specialism in Superyacht Insurance, Ben moved to AIG's Private Client Group in August 2012 as the Senior Yacht Underwriter for the Europe & Middle East region. Based out of AIG's London office, Ben underwrites an international portfolio of Superyacht insurance business, ranging from entry level yachts to the very largest Superyachts afloat, as part of a team of Yacht insurance professionals around the world serving some 100,000+ yacht owners including some 200+ of the largest Superyachts.

In addition to providing Owner’s with protection and peace of mind for their treasured Superyachts, Ben has endeavoured to support the Superyacht Insurance industry through his participation as an Executive Committee member of the Superyacht Claims Adjusters Association, helping to provide a professional body for this specialist niche of the insurance industry.

Wlliam MacLachlan

William advises on a wide range of yacht related matters with a particular focus on sale and purchase, construction, VAT, design and intellectual property, charter, management and refit and repair. William also advises on matters related to physical and cyber security on board yachts. He spent 8 months seconded to a leading German yacht builder.

William is a trustee of the Mission to Seafarers, one of HFW’s global charity partners, and a member of the board of advisers of the ‘She of the Sea’ campaign to encourage diversity and inclusion amongst those employed at sea in the yachting industry

Matteo Magherini
Naval Architect, Business Development Coordinator
Lateral Naval Architects

Matteo thinks that perhaps his Italian directness might sometimes be a little much for his more reserved English colleagues, but his natural warmth and friendliness have made his new dual role something he enjoys, giving him a real contrast between the sociability of business development and the technical aspects of engineering projects.

Daniel Martin

Daniel advises traders, shipowners, freight forwarders, insurers and brokers on a host of regulatory and compliance issues, including international trade sanctions, export controls, customs and anti-corruption legislation. He advises on all aspects of the EU and UK sanctions legislation, and he is also familiar with the application of US sanctions to non-US persons.

Jenny Matthews
She of the Sea & Legasea

Hailing from New Zealand, Jenny Matthews is a Chief Officer and the Founder of She of the Sea, the platform for Women in the Superyacht industry. The platform holds the vision of re-writting the role of women in maritime by cultivating equality, realising potential and celebrating diversity. Passing her Officer of the Watch after 8 years in the industry, and never having worked with another female deck member, she asked a simple question “who else is out there?”. She of the Sea was born. Over the past two years the platform has gained notable momentum and support from all sectors of the industry. Shore side organisations and crew at all levels are uniting with the vision of a high performing, competency focused industry, regardless of gender. She of the Sea has collaborated with organisations and schools engaging young women, such as the 1851 Trust the official charity of INEOS Team UK, delivering STEM events to young women. At the UK’s Womens Trade and Union Congress 2019, She of the Sea was invited to raise important issues facing women in the work place. Jenny writes for leading industry publications, and with a healthy social media presence, the ethos, community and impact of She of the Sea is uniting the industry towards growth.

Ben Mennem
Chief Executive Officer
MB92 La Ciotat

With a yachting career that started in the mid 1970s Ben has been involved in almost every area of the yachting industry, from painting to superyacht captain and build project manager. As a sailing yacht Captain in the 80s, Ben ran some of the best known racing yachts in the world before finally teaming up with the late Gianni Agnelli to oversee his yachting interests.

After instigating and running 2 of the most landmark yacht builds of their time in Extra-Beat and Stealth, interest from other owners was strong in trying to involve Ben in their new build projects and it was ultimately this demand that led to the creation of Composite works in 1998, now MB92 La Ciotat. Ben is a father of two and keen cyclist living in the South of France.

Christopher Miller
Managing Partner
Shearwater Global Capital

Shearwater is a specialty asset-based finance company committed to providing tailored financing solutions for clients across the globe. Their primary focus is making special opportunity investments in Aviation and Luxury Assets. Founded in 2014 and based in Atlanta, Georgia, Shearwater has financed assets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.
As a direct lender, Shearwater’s funds come primarily from private investors comprised of Family Offices and HNWI. As a result, they are not burdened with the regulations that Banks or larger financial institutions face and pride themselves on being flexible and structuring deals to comply with their clients’ needs as much as possible. Shearwater works with clients from across the globe, from emerging market economies in Asia and Africa to more mature markets like North America and Europe.
Prior to a career in asset based finance, Mr. Miller ran the US Division of a UK based performance management consultancy working with management teams of both small and large organizations on the execution of their strategies. Notable projects include working with a private equity group to form a venture to fly cargo into geopolitically unstable regions of the world as well as working with large defense contractors to help fulfill urgent need requests from US military forces based in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before entering the business world, Mr. Miller served in the United States Marine Corps, as an F/A-18 pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Aviation Safety Officer. He is a graduate of the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps School of Aviation Safety and currently holds a commercial pilot rating. He is an accredited Senior Aircraft Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and serves on its Investment Committee. He is also the former President of the National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA). Mr. Miller received a BA from Denison University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Campbell Murray
Chief Security Officer
Pelion Consulting

Campbell Murray has been established in information security for over 20 years and was the founder of Encription Limited before coming the Global Head of Cybersecurity for Blackberry. During his time at Encription, Campbell was a founder of the TigerScheme in 2007 and later a founding director of the CyberScheme. After 4 years at Blackberry Campbell founded Merimetso in 2020, and later that year becoming the Chief Security Office at Pelion Consulting specialising in SuperYacht security, Campbell brings his knowledge of penetration testing, IoT and security engineering with him.

Thomas O'Nial
Sales Manager
Camper & Nicholsons

Thomas joins our brokerage department after 10 years in the yachting industry.
A French and Australian national, Thomas has spent the last 10 years in the yachting industry, and has worked all over the world: from Greece to Indonesia, London to Italy. He has had major sales roles with some of the world's leading superyacht shipyards, including Sanlorenzo. Prior to yachting, he was a derivatives trader in London following his studies at the London School of Economics.
He is highly skilled in sales and negotiation, marketing and digital strategies, and possesses in-depth knowledge of the superyacht industry thanks to his family’s yachting business, and his own independent professional experiences. Combined with his international approach and expertise, this allows him to provide his clients, many of whom are repeat, with advice and service of the highest level.
When Thomas isn't hard at work, you'll find him travelling and learning about different cultures, exploring new tech, playing sports, and, as a trained classical pianist, appreciating music. He speaks English and French at a native level, can speak Greek and Italian fluently, and is currently learning Spanish.

Panos Pourgourides
Hill Dickinson

Panos was originally engaged in both contentious and non-contentious work in the commercial shipping sector but has focussed almost exclusively on yacht work for the past 20 years. He has extensive experience acting for yacht owners and almost all of the major banks involved in the provision of finance for new build projects and second-hand yachts and is an acknowledged leader in this field. He routinely advises on the negotiation of construction agreements, sale and purchase work, design and project management contracts and other yacht related commercial and regulatory issues. Panos also sits on the committee of Superyacht UK and is a co-editor of the shipping chapter of Sweet & Maxwell’s “Practical Lending and Security Precedents.” He has for many years been ranked as a leading practitioner in his field by a number of the global legal directories, including Chambers HNW which said “Panos is one of the best names in the yachting world,” (2019) “very diligent and very savvy” (2020) and “a true expert in the marine field” (2021) and Legal 500 which said in 2021 “Panos is one of the foremost practitioners in the country in the superyacht space.” Panos also holds a practising certificate in Hong Kong as well as being a fluent Greek speaker.

Riela Group

Matthew Roberts
Director & Head of Group Sales
Riela Cyber

Matthew uses past experiences in physical security and internet connectivity in the maritime industry throughout the past decade to focus on safety and security in the Superyacht industry. As Group Head of Sales for the Riela Group, he strives to draw from all available expertise and experience across the companies. Including safety and compliance at Riela Yachts, corporate services at Riela Corporate, cyber security at Riela Cyber, and bespoke IT solutions at Riela Tech.

Since joining the Riela Group in 2020 and sitting on the board of Directors, Matthew’s primary focus has been bringing Riela Cyber’s enterprise-grade cyber security offering from the Isle of Man-based Security Operations Centre to the Superyacht market. With the introduction of maritime specific cyber risk management guidelines, the challenge has been striking a balance between cyber security best-practises whilst keeping sight of the industry’s aims to improve the overall safety of vessel operations.

Raphael Sauleau

With over 25 years in the private wealth and maritime sectors, Raphael has a well-earned reputation for delivering results through skilled people and operations management.
Born in Angers in the French Loire Valley and a skilled footballer from an early age, Raphael considered a professional career in the sport before opting to study Hospitality and Tourism in Nice, France and London, England. As an entrepreneur he ran several businesses before the cruise line industry enticed him to sea where he completed several world cruises and met his future wife.
Moving back on land, he embarked on what was to become a 15-year stint working for the world’s largest maritime services provider, V-Ships. As Director of Crew Operations, he was responsible for no less than 60 shore staff and up to 8,000 crew across the group’s cargo, offshore, cruise, yachting, hotel and resort portfolios.
A rare opportunity to deploy his skills and experience for the benefit of a renowned UHNWI saw him leave V-Ships in 2013 to act as CEO for a Monaco-based Family Office managing leading luxury assets such as the Parkview Private Collection in St Tropez, Monaco, London and Beijing and yachts including the 69m (226') M/Y SALUZI.
In 2016, Fraser’s search for a CEO with UHNW expertise and an ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to luxury yachting came to a successful conclusion when Raphael became only its 5th CEO in a history spanning more than 70 years.
Since then Raphael has not only ensured Fraser continues to buy and sell more luxury yachts for clients every year than any other provider, he has also overseen the exponential growth of its Yacht Management fleet to over 100 yachts, the opening of several new offices (Hong Kong, Phuket, TCN Palma and Barcelona), an increase in its skilled workforce of over 13%, and most recently, the successful purchase from longstanding owners, Azimut/Benetti, by the world’s most successful pleasure boat dealer, the American-based MarineMax.
A firm believer in the value of working together as an industry to better serve clients, Raphael is actively involved with two of the most influential associations in luxury yachting today - LYBRA (Large Yacht Brokers Association) for which he is currently President, and MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) as Head of the Communications Committee.
Fluent in English and French, a champion Ironman and father of two daughters, Raphael is driven, professionally and personally, by the challenge of getting the most out of life and the pursuit of always giving back.

Miguel Angel Serra Guasch

Miguel Ángel is partner at Albors, leading Spanish firm in Maritime law. He is the head of the yachting and tax department, as well as tax&legal advisor of ANEN, the Spanish National Yachting Association. He is lawyer, economist, official real estate agent, master’s degree in Tax Law and master’s degree in urban planning and real estate law. In addition, he is lecturer at the master’s degree in Tax System and the BA in economics since 2004, both at the Balearic Islands University (UIB). He has articles published in national and international magazines and a wide experience in leading projects and advising private and business clients in the yachting industry, aviation and real estate.

Julian Smith
Principal Surveyor,
Cayman Islands Shipping Registry

After graduating from University, Julian joined Lloyd’s Register in 2004 as a Surveyor in the Yacht and Special Service Craft Department. In 2014, he joined the Fire & Safety Plan Appraisal Department as Lead Specialist (Yachts) and was responsible for the approval of plans and documentation for various superyacht projects. In 2017, he joined the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry and is now responsible for the survey and certification of superyachts from both a new build and in-service perspective and specialises in passenger yachts. He also acts in the capacity of Code Secretariat for the REG Yacht Codes and participates in various industry working groups regarding regulatory development. Julian is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects.

Alex Sayegh
Legal Director

Alex specialises in the transactional aspects of the commercial yachting industries; advising owners, shipyards and financiers on the construction, refit, repair, sale and purchase of various types of vessels. He has a particular focus on construction contracts for new builds and has extensive experience of negotiating with shipyards and yacht builders throughout the world. Alex also regularly lectures on the subjects of shipbuilding and sale and purchase contracts.

Les Shortall
Director of Sector Development, Yacht and Passenger

Les leads on sector development for Inmarsat Maritime, focusing on Yachting and Passenger sectors.

He has 30 years of experience in leading cross-functional teams in global communications technology companies operating in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He is both strategist and doer, with a passion for enabling customers and companies to build new capabilities utilising cutting edge technologies.

Les holds a BSc. Engineering from Trinity College Dublin and is a certified Firewalk Instructor.

Fiorenzo Spadoni
UK Marine Commercial Director and global yachting commercial coordinator

Fiorenzo Spadoni holds the current position of UK Marine Commercial Director and global yachting commercial coordinator for RINA.
He graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Genova in 2001.
He joined RINA in 2005 and till 2012 strengthened his experience in the marine sector as a surveyor in Turkey, Netherlands and France.
From 2012 to 2017, based in Genoa, he has been in charge of the yachting sector taking care of the Italian operational network and all commercial activities relevant to mega yachts and recreational crafts. He has been responsible for the developing of new services with special commitment in environmental and sustainability field.
From 2018 he has been managing the commercial activity in UK and Ireland for the marine sector with special focus on the cruise market and ships in service classification. He retains the position of worldwide yachting coordinator leading global projects, innovative services and digital solutions for RINA clients.

Mike Taylor-West
Partner, Private Client & Marine

Mike is a Maritime Business & Marine Law alumnus of the Institute of Marine Studies, University of Plymouth. He is also a graduate of Britannia Royal Naval College, and a Chartered Insurance Broker. Mike brings over 20 years of international private client insurance experience, passion and enthusiasm to La Playa. Mike is also a keen windsurfer and skier.

Jay Tooker

Jay specialises in yacht and ship building, yacht and ship sale and purchase, yacht, ship and asset finance, corporate law and international trade. He is a French speaker.

Jay is recommended by both Chambers UK 2014 and Legal 500 UK 2014 for his expertise with superyacht financing. In Chambers UK 2014, Jay "receives widespread praise for his shipping finance practice, and is known in the market for his excellent superyacht financing capabilities."

Jan-Bart Verkuyl
Feadship - Royal Van Lent

Jan-Bart Verkuyl, CEO of Royal Van Lent is responsible for the shipyard on Kaag island and for the second new yard in Amsterdam as well as its subsidiaries Van der Loo furniture factory, and the joint ventures De Voogt Naval Architects and Feadship. Royal van Lent has roots dating back to 1849 as yacht construction started in earnest eighty years ago when motor and sailing yachts were built out of wood. Today High-end yacht builder Royal Van Lent upholds the prestigious Dutch maritime tradition. For each new project, the adventure begins with a blank page and continues on the high seas.
Jan-Bart trained with a master’s degree in Naval architecture and started as a project manager at the renowned maritime research institute MARIN in 1998. He joined Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects in 2006, transferring to Royal Van Lent five years later. Taking up various key roles related to engineering, design, construction and sales, Verkuyl eventually joined the Feadship board of directors. In 2016 Jan-Bart took over the helm as CEO from Dick van Lent. What drives Jan-Bart is that each Feadship vessel is truly unique and reflects our desire to create new design models built on excellence and state-of-the-art technology. They represent the very best our company has to offer as we build bespoke yachts for people who only want the best.

Francesca Webster
Editor in Chief
Superyacht Times

Francesca’s career in the yachting industry began when she was 18, working as crew aboard a sailing yacht in Greece. This matured over the years and eventually she took a position on a classic superyacht traveling around the world and later going on to work as the in-house historian for a classic yachting company. In 2020 she completed the definitive history of the classic John Alden schooner Puritan, with the book launched in Monaco this year. In 2021 she joined SuperYacht Times as Editor in Chief. Today she pours her decade of industry knowledge into the company, which she combines with her passion for sailing, the superyacht industry and the current events within it.

Michael Wills
Co-Founder & Chief Data Officer
CSS Platinum

Mike Wills is the Co-Founder of maritime cyber and data security company CSS Platinum.

CSS Platinum support their clients in becoming resilience to cyber-attacks; responding to cyber-attacks; and meeting international compliance obligations – including, international data protection and the Maritime Cyber Risk Management component of the ISM Code. CSS Platinum presently services clients in the UK, Mediterranean and East Coast United States.

Mike considers cyber and data security to be a fundamental life skill. He is passionate about helping the superyacht and maritime industry, and their supporting eco-system, in becoming and remaining hard to hack in our increasing digital world. He speaks on the subject regularly at industry events as well as writing for numerous industry publications.

Mike is a military veteran and retired from the British Army as a Major in 2016. During his service with The Rifles, he served across the globe including in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the UK Defence Academy. During his career he was privileged to be seconded from the British Army to the Royal Navy's Britannia Royal Naval College to deliver leadership training to naval officer cadets in training.

Mike loves the sea, wine, rugby, F1 and field sports.

Mike Wimbridge
Managing Director

Mike began his insurance career in 1987 initially working for the Royal Insurance Group before entering the marine world by joining Radcliffe and Company in 1989. This was his first step on what has become a 30 year career in the yacht Insurance market. During that time Mike has been both an insurance broker and an underwriter. Mike has worked for much of his career in Lloyd’s of London and, including spells with Marsh, AIG, BRIT and Markel, he has been involved in all aspects of superyacht underwriting and Broking and is extremely well known within the industry. In 2019 Mike joined Pantaenius, one of the leading specialists in Yacht Insurance, and works as Managing Director - UK for them.

Antonio Vollero
Manager / Value Creation Services
Deloitte Financial Advisory

Antonio is a Manager of Deloitte Value Creation Services team in Italy, based in Milan

He supports leading national and international Private Equity funds as well as Corporate clients during pre and post deal engagements, mainly within the recreational boating landscape

He holds a consolidated experience in the Yachting industry gained through the execution of national and cross-border engagements with leading motor and sailing boat builders, with particular focus on strategic market assessment and top line acceleration topics

Mike Wilson
Product Manager
Intellian Technologies

Mike Wilson has over 15 years’ experience in the satellite communications industry that spans a variety of both sales and technical roles, covering all aspects of manufacturing, network operators and end customers.
As Product Manager with Intellian, he is involved with the complete lifecycle of Intellian’s industry-leading VSAT and TV antennas, from conception through to product launch and beyond. His industry knowledge and customer centric approach is an integral part of the innovative design and product development.
As well as providing training and technical support internally, Mike works closely with Intellian’s Partners providing product training and assisting with bespoke technical solutions. He’s currently involved in the development of a number of exciting new products to be launched by Intellian throughout 2022 and beyond.

John Wyborn
Director of Crew & Training

John Wyborn is a co-founder and director of Bluewater, a yacht brokerage, charter and management company and a provider of crew training and placement services to a large proportion of the yacht crew population. He is President of MYBA (the worldwide yachting association), is on the board of the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) and is a board member of the International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI). He is Chairman of IAMI’s influential Small Ship subgroup. John also sits on the board of both the Merchant Navy Training Board and the Maritime Skills Alliance. He joined the Royal Navy as a seaman officer after university and served on various types of vessels including frigates, destroyers, and finally in command of HMS Mentor; a navigation and seamanship training vessel teaching RN trainees and foreign navies.