Interviews

Fraser Yachts Returns to US to Conquer Bigger Market

Raphael Sauleau, CEO Fraser Yachts

In the latest industry news, renowned brokerage and global giant Fraser Yachts has recently been sold by Azimut-Benetti Group to MarineMax after 15 years under the former’s patronage. We spoke with Raphael Sauleau, CEO of Fraser Yachts, to get the latest insight into what the acquisition will mean practically for Fraser – as well as catch up on some of the exciting events that have been unfolding this year for the firm.

As some of our readers may already be aware, Fraser Yachts itself was originally established in the US, on the West Coast by David Fraser as long ago as 1947, and is now in a way “going back to its roots”. In terms of why MarineMax is an obvious good choice as owner of Fraser Yachts though, the advantages are plentiful. Sauleau points out that for those clients of MarineMax who are keen to enter into the large yacht market, Fraser has years of experience and know how to offer.

“There is an opportunity to grow our footprint in the US market – where we have been very strong for many years – to have a shareholder with such a strong presence there, is very positive.”

North America is of course an extremely and increasingly important strategic location for brokerage firms in today’s yachting landscape, as it account for 45-50% of the yachting market.  

The Chief Executive assured us that in terms of practical changes, we will see no changes in terms of staff or headquarters at Fraser Yachts. “Really the idea is to work together and keep the winning team intact, as well as continuing with our offices worldwide and of course the brand. Our efforts now are on growth for both companies with a strong focus on client service."

Not to mention the exposure factor, Sauleau adds, from such a big firm for the alternative services Fraser provides – including charter, crewing, and indeed yacht management, which he reports has doubled in demand in the last two years in line with increased regulations and related expenditures.

Among these aforementioned alternative services, Fraser Yachts is also known for overseeing a number of new build projects in various shipyards around the world. Notably, the launch of 77m explorer yacht La Datcha in conjunction with Dutch shipyard Amels, and more recently the first Amels 220 superyacht Aurora Borealis just last week.

In sum, the recent move by MarineMax looks set only to increase an already extremely prosperous year for Fraser Yachts – who has as Sauleau reports been “outperforming the market over the last 5 years” and even beaten its own 10-year record. We at Superyachts.com are excited to see how events unfold, and are reminded of Raphael Sauleau’s words in closing that, “We have big plans, big plans for growth.” 

Really the idea is to work together and keep the winning team intact, as well as continuing with our offices worldwide and of course the brand.
Raphael Sauleau, CEO of Fraser Yachts