YATCO’s Broker of the Month series examines the influences and catalysts that brought these brokers into the wonderful world of yachting, who influenced them, and what they seek to change in the industry. Here, we interview Alex G. Clarke of Denison Yachting.
Everything You Need to Know About YATCO’s Broker of the Month Alex G. Clarke
How did you get your start in yachting?
I grew up spending my summers at my uncle Joe Bartram’s house in Marion, Massachusetts where he always had yachts and crew visiting, so I became addicted to boating. My family has a strong connection with the history of the America’s Cup and the New York Yacht Club (where my great grandfather was the commodore) so yachting is in my blood.
After graduating university, I worked on yachts as crew for almost 10 years before moving ashore. My first job was in yacht management with Fraser Yachts before moving over to brokerage. Everything came full circle when I joined Bartram & Brakenhoff to work under my uncle, which was something I always wanted to do. From there, I teamed up with Bob Denison and have helped grow the company for the past 13+ years and counting.
Is there anyone who influences you – someone in the industry that you look up to, and why?
Joe Bartram is someone I would consider a father figure and my mentor. To this day, I idolize him and will be forever grateful for his positive influence – not only on my career but my entire life. I started my career in brokerage working under Stuart Larsen at Fraser Yachts, so I am always appreciative of that opportunity and look up to all that he has accomplished. He obviously sets a remarkably high standard, so it is good to always have someone to chase…
What do you enjoy most about the yachting industry – and what do you wish you could change?
I love the travel opportunities, I love being on the water, and I like that even though the industry has grown dramatically over the years it remains a relatively small community. I do a lot of business internationally, so it is always nice to walk the docks during the Cannes or Monaco shows and catch up with old colleagues, business partners, or even crew I used to work with 20+ years ago. You seem to pick up right where you left off, as if nothing has changed.
What are some of the challenges you come across at work, and how do you approach them?
Times are changing, technology is becoming increasingly important, not only in how you market yachts for sale but also the sales process itself. Staying at the forefront of this will be the challenge. With brokerage inventory drying up, I am shifting towards new build projects with my clients. Last year I sold 16 yachts over 24m, seven of which were new construction projects over 30m. I see that trend continuing or at least until all the build slots are filled.
Tell us about your greatest accomplishment.
Without question it is my family. My wife is my absolute rock and is the secret to my success, without her life would not be the same, and I absolutely love being a dad to my son and daughter. Without my family I do not know where I would be right now. My mom, dad and sister and I were always very close growing up, so to be going down that path with my own family is my greatest accomplishment.