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Glamour & Good Vibes in Monaco

Denison Yachting | December 3, 2022

Denison Yachting Brings Its Special Brand of Success to The Spiritual Home of The Superyacht Industry 

Bob Denison will be the first person to admit that he’s incredibly proud of Denison Yachting’s American roots and for the special way his team in all of Denison’s 22 offices treats clients and coworkers. But he’s also quick to say that he’s always dreamed of expanding into the European market and opening an office in Monaco… once the timing was right.

Well, it seems the timing was right during last year’s Monaco Yacht Show. Back then, the world was slowly emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns. Exhibitors and attendees had to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination to get in. And for the first time ever, Bob and his brokers did more than just “visit” the show with clients. They “exhibited” a yacht at the show and held meetings in their large and well-located stand, too.

Since then, business has been strong in the US and Denison’s Europe Director Jeremy Roche has done more than just establish a foothold in Monaco. The office is up and running and the team is growing and making all sorts of deals. So I sat down with Bob and Jeremy at the Monaco Yacht Show to hear how the European expansion is going and what’s in store for the future.

Denison yachting Monaco

BS: So, Bob, here we are at the Denison stand in the 2022 Monaco Yacht Show. How’s it feel?

BD: I love it. I love Monaco. My wife, Dani, just got back from a tender ride out to see the big boats at anchor and she came back and said, “That was the most fun I’ve ever had on a boat.”

And the reason for that is way more than just the blue water and the wind in her hair that the South of France is known for. It was also because she was onboard with people she loved going fast and then looking behind her and seeing the principality in the background and everything that the principality represents. It’s just hard to look back at Monaco from the sea and not be inspired by it.

BS: It was a good move to set up the office out here, right?

BD: The last three years we’ve been the number one broker in terms of number of transactions for yachts 24 meters and above, but the vast majority of those sales occurred in the US. As a US-based company, of course we were proud of that, but to really be in the big boat game you need to be in Monaco.

But the really cool thing is that every time we’ve expanded it was because we had the right people in the right place. And when Jeremy said he was open to relocating to Monaco, it made our decision so unbelievably easy.

To be honest with you, if Jeremy decided he wanted to open an office in Palma or wherever, we would’ve done it because we believe in and love Jeremy. We would’ve gotten here at some other time, but since Jeremy had the vision for growing our superyacht division, and he was kind and selfless enough to relocate here to get the office going. It’s a really big deal. That’s one of the many things that make being here feel so good. I’ve met his kids, who are fantastic and awesome. But the industry is full of stories of men and women that relocate somewhere at a radical inconvenience for themselves and for that we’re incredibly grateful.

Denison Yachting Superyachts Director Ben Farnborough, 
 Europe Director Jeremy Roche, and company founder Bob Denison in Monaco
(Right to left) Denison Yachting Superyachts Director Ben Farnborough,
Europe Director Jeremy Roche, and company founder Bob Denison.

BS: How’s it been for you, Jeremy?

JR: We’re just getting started. We’ve got eight people here now. I’ve got another starting later this month and a new charter person starting in January. That’ll take us up to 10. I’m hoping to be at at least 12 before the end of the year. And bringing the Denison sales process over here has already proven its value.

For instance, one of my first deals we did was with a Sunseeker 115 in May. For me, it was a dream moment. It was basically an in-house deal with a French broker that we just signed up. We knew of a boat that was listed for sale. The guy didn’t want to list it on the open market. So, we posted it on Denison Update and broadcasted it directly to our 120 brokers in the U.S.

Soon enough, one of our brokers on the West Coast of the US says, “I think I’ve got a client.” He came over two weeks later and bought the boat shortly after. We then put crew on for him because the existing crew were moving to a new boat for the boat owner. Then we signed him up for charter and yacht management too. Win. Win. Win.

We also see that happening the other way, too. We’d love to see our brokers in Monaco take advantage of our market intelligence, relationships, and our inventory in the US for the European buyers to bring boats back over here.

But that only works, though, if our brokers get together in real life at a place like Monaco Yacht Show from America and Europe, eat together, hang out together, build those relationships so that there’s a real trust there. It’s all happening.

Denison Yachting Monaco

BS: So, Bob, what’s it like being an American company coming over to the spiritual home of the superyacht industry?

BD: Over the last 50 years or so it’s been very common for the Europeans, the British specifically, to come marching over to the states. They cross the Atlantic with their very great accents, their handsome blue blazers with the gold buttons, and take market share away from us.

So, as an American, to be able to march over in this direction and be on the offensive a little bit, it’s a really, really good feeling. As much as I love Monaco and appreciate everything about it, I’m also incredibly proud of being an American and bringing some of our philosophy over here.

And the cool thing is we’ll have a place for European brokers to go at our hometown show, FLIBS. We want them to feel at home and that they are supported in Fort Lauderdale.

It’s great to be able to provide a platform and provide friendships that will make somebody from far away feel like they’re a little bit more at home.

BS: Last question. What’s next?

BD: One word…LONDON. Mic drop.

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