The KarMa Perspective
After announcing the establishment of their first joint venture in May of this year, we caught up with Mario Cicognani and Karin Paggi during the Cannes Yachting Festival, to hear more about their new brokerage firm KarMa Yachting. Having worked together for eight years within the Ferretti Group, Karin as the Sales Director of Custom Line and Mario as a Sales Manager within the Group, the duo decided leverage their joint experience and set up their own boutique brokerage firm, aiming to share their decades of expertise in new- build and yacht sales with their clients.
What inspired you to leave Ferretti Group and set up KarMa Yachting?
Karin: It wasn’t one singular event that made us decide to set up KarMa Yachting, we’d worked together for many years and always had a great working relationship. Gradually we began to talk about how we could leverage our shared experience to benefit a broad range of clients and once the seed was sown it organically grew.
Mario: We were looking for a new challenge, I think we’d both reached a point where we had started to think about the future and consider what the next 10 years could look like. The Ferretti Group was a brilliant company to work for but I always felt the draw of creating something of my own that stepped me outside of my comfort zone. When I started to share those ambitions with Karin, we realised that we could take advantage of all the experience we had gained within the Group and use our intimate knowledge of the sales and build process on the shipyard side to offer clients an unique perspective.
In a sense, you’ve seen it all from the yard’s perspective, can you share how you’re using this to benefit your clients?
Karin: Its been an amazing transition to move to the other side of the buyer- yard relationship and work so intimately with yacht owners. I think our collective experience within the shipyard is the key point of the service offer; the fact that we know the yards’ process means that we are able to avoid the issues that often delay projects or complicate the build process. We also speak the same language as the shipyard and that helps us to navigate the communications smoothly to streamline the negotiations.
Mario: Absolutely. Our experience means that we can prevent a lot of potential situations and gives the client and shipyard the confidence that their broker deeply understands the complications of the process they are going through.
Karin: There are also a lot of new buyers entering ownership for the first time and it can be challenging to truly understand the internal processes of the yachting industry. I think we are ideally placed to introduce those new owners to the sector and to guide them through the buying process with confidence.
Mario: On the other side of that, there are also many very experienced and technically knowledgeable owners in the industry who want to work with brokers who have a deep knowledge of yachts and the sector.
Is your focus predominantly on new-build or do you also offer used yacht brokerage and how do you find your clients?
Karin: We absolutely offer both new- build and brokerage management to our clients and we may well offer charter management in the future. Our approach at the moment is to gradually grow our network of clients. It is still very early days and we feel it’s important not to grow too quickly because we want to offer a truly customised and bespoke service to every client. We are also very clear that we don’t want to step on the toes of other established brokerage houses, or the shipyard’s themselves, and so gradual growth and a collaborative approach is very important to us.
Mario: We have both built an expansive network of professionals in the industry, and many of those individuals, particularly suppliers and project managers, have recommended us to their clients. That network is also invaluable because it helps us to establish a team of experts that suit the character and demands of each individual owner. Every owner should have a tailor-made service and it’s important to us that all of the professionals that we introduce to the owner, such as project managers, lawyers, surveyors and designers, are the right match.
Can you share some of the most interesting elements of setting up your own company?
Karin: It has been absolutely fascinating visiting yachts and shipyard’s that are outside of the remit of the Ferretti Group. When you work at a yard, your perspective is restricted but we have spent the last six months understanding the structure and construction methods of other yards from other regions. It has been important for us to get a deep understanding of how every yard operates, so that we are able to offer that deep knowledge and expertise to every owner we work with.
Mario: It’s been interesting to understand the character of other shipyards. There is a yacht for every client but there is also a yard that will suit each client’s needs and attitude.
Aside from visiting yards in Europe, are there other regions that you believe are valuable?
Karin: During our time at Ferretti we each gained experience within different regions. I was focused on Europe and the US, while Mario was deeply focused on the Middle East and that is a structure that we will be continuing at KarMa Yachting.
Mario: We definitely see that there is a shift coming, with a greater focus on the developments in the Middle East and more owners originating from that region. The investment in the Gulf and the Red Sea are staggering, and it is undeniable that this will impact the superyacht industry, so I look forward to leveraging my experience in that region to help our clients.
Finally, the name of the company is more than just an anagram of your names, can you tell us how it reflects the ethos of the firm?
Mario: The name came about somewhat by chance, inspired by the slogan of a soap brand in a hotel, but it’s really rooted in our belief that transparency and honesty are the key to a successful broker-owner relationship.
Karin: The process of yacht acquisition and construction can be stressful and complex and many owners are deterred from ownership because of a negative acquisition process. Our goal is to eradicate those challenges and operate in a calm and efficient way to encourage owners to remain within the industry.
Francesca Webster – SuperYacht Times, Winter 2023 issue
Luxury Yachting Advisors: The Dynamic World of Yacht Brokers and Consultants
In the world of luxury yachting, two key players guide clients on their maritime journeys: the yacht broker and the yacht consultant. Although both professionals play vital roles, their services differ significantly. Understanding the difference between the yacht broker and yacht consultant is essential to choose the right expert to steer your course toward the perfect yacht.
The Yacht Broker: the gateway to the finest yachts for sale
When you want to find your dream yacht for sale, a yacht broker is your ultimate resource to explore the world of luxury superyachts. These professionals possess an intimate knowledge of the yacht market, connecting buyers with sellers while ensuring seamless transactions. A yacht broker’s expertise lies in curating a diverse portfolio of yachts for sale, each one meticulously evaluated for its technical specifications, condition, and market value.
As your trusted advisors, yacht brokers skillfully negotiate on your behalf, striving to secure the best prices and terms for your desired vessel. Their extensive network of reputable yacht owners and industry contacts ensures you have access to, public or off market, exclusive yacht opportunities that match your tastes and expectations.
The Yacht Consultant: elevating the yachting experience to new heights
While a yacht broker specializes in the art of yacht sales, a yacht consultant takes a more strategic approach to your yachting journey requirements. The yacht consultants are dedicated to understanding your expectations and translate these into a new yachting experience, surpassing the boundaries of ordinary yachting.
As your personal yachting specialist, a yacht consultant digs into your desires and long-term projects, crafting a bespoke yachting plan that aligns with your aspirations. Whether you seek to sell a yacht, build a new yacht, or embark on a yacht purchase, a yacht consultant’s premium custom service ensures your yachting dreams come to fruition.
In the complexity of luxury yachting market, the pursuit of excellence leads to exclusive opportunities. Both yacht brokers and yacht consultants open doors to exclusive yacht opportunities that transcend the ordinary. While yacht brokers present a diverse range of yachts for sale, yacht consultants guide you to craft the perfect bespoke yacht choice for you, both providing insights that redefine luxury yachting.
Whether you are a seasoned yacht owner or a newcomer to the world of luxury yachting, both yacht brokers and yacht consultants serve as your unparalleled insights and trusted advisors. A yacht broker’s expertise lies in navigating the complexities and technicalities of yacht sales, ensuring the process to yacht ownership is smooth and rewarding. On the other hand, a yacht consultant’s profound understanding of the yachting industry guides you toward long-term yachting excellence, taking care of every detail including the yacht resale value and market trends.
Yacht maestros: when yacht broker blends with yacht consultant
Choosing between a yacht broker and a yacht consultant is crucial, and few professionals can seamlessly blend both roles, by possessing a unique set of characteristics and experiences that make them stand out in the luxury yachting industry. They have extensive knowledge of the yachting industry, including yacht sales, market trends, construction, and yacht management, acquired through years of experience and continuous learning. These figures prioritize understanding their clients’ unique needs, desires, and long-term yachting goals to deliver personalized solutions and exceed expectations and possess a strategic mindset, able to offer insights and long-term planning to help clients achieve their yachting aspirations beyond individual transactions.
Yacht maestros have a well-established network of reputable yacht owners, shipyards, designers, yacht surveyors, maritime attorneys, captains and industry contacts, providing access to exclusive yacht opportunities and resources. Great in finding creative solutions and overcoming challenges that may arise during yacht transactions or customizations, these widely skilled professionals deliver clear guidance and advice.
They provide a high level of customer service, ensuring that clients feel valued, heard, and supported throughout their yachting journey.
These figures understand yacht technical specifications, design principles, and engineering aspects, which is crucial when advising clients on yacht customizations or new builds. They possess an eye for design and a deep understanding of yacht customization options, helping clients transform a yacht into a unique and personalized masterpiece, assisting also in yacht financing, budgeting, and operational costs, ensuring clients make informed financial decisions.
They have a proven track record in successful yacht sales, demonstrating their ability to match clients with the perfect vessel and close transactions efficiently. Their reputation as trusted advisors is built on honesty, integrity, and transparency in all dealings, putting their clients’ best interests first.
Above all, they have a genuine passion for yachting, driven by a desire to share the joy of the seas with their clients and enrich their lives through exceptional yachting experiences.
No matter the path you choose, luxury yachting awaits, and with the expertise of trusted advisors, your yachting experience will be an exclusive voyage beyond compare. Discover the magic of luxury yachting and unlock a world of possibilities with the guidance of your chosen yacht consultant or yacht broker. Embark on an extraordinary journey of yachting excellence today.
Choose your good KarMa…Yachting
Karma Yachting, a brokerage company founded by Mario Cicognani and Karin Paggi, professionals with a cumulative experience of 32 years in the purchase, sale, and construction of yachts ranging from 30 to 60 meters, is born.
Driven by the principles of integrity and transparency, they have joined forces to offer their clients expertise, reliability, and a well-established network of industry experts.
As Cicognani says, “Whether it involves a new build, purchasing, or selling superyachts, we are committed to providing a fully customized service that ensures flawless, fast, easy, and transparent processes. We place great importance on discretion and attentively listening to individual needs in order to meet our customers’ requirements, while also ensuring a pleasant and stimulating customer experience.”
At Karma Yachting, the key to successful projects lies in the “boutique” approach. Every single project undertaken receives utmost care and attention to the smallest detail, with dedicated efforts to facilitate customer transactions and consistently represent the client’s interests at every stage of the process.
As Paggi emphasizes, “We serve as a constant point of reference and have established long-standing relationships with our customers based on trust. At Karma Yachting, clients are free to choose their degree of participation and involvement in the project at any time. We can offer our clients an extensive list of professionals to choose from, including lawyers, designers, surveyors, and management companies, based on their preferences, experience, and sensitivity. By listening to their wishes and expectations, we deliver a tailor-made service and always recommend the best possible solution.”
The name Karma Yachting, in addition to being an amalgamation of the founders’ names, also represents their philosophy of life, both in private and professional realms: to act in a correct and ethical manner.