Looking to the future of yachting, YATCO interviews several fresh faces in the industry to discover how they got their start, their career highlights so far, and what they predict for the future of the yacht market.
Featuring Frank Grzeszczak Jr., Vice President and Sales Broker of FGI Yacht Group
How did you get your start in yachting
From a young age, I was exposed to the business of yachting.
My father, Frank Grzeszczak Sr., who has earned a hall of fame career in yacht brokerage, would bring me into his office as a young child. At the age of 12 while on summer break I began day working on yachts in Fort Lauderdale. Yachting is in my DNA.
At the age of 18, my journey in yacht brokerage began as an intern at a leading brokerage company where I would grow to become an equity partner and two-time broker of the year prior to age 30.
As a younger professional in the industry, what trends have you seen, and what do you predict for the coming years?
I have seen many sweeping changes in our industry over my 16-year career. Technology has completely changed the way business is conducted on a day-to-day basis. Clients now have access to endless amounts of information on yachts, which is fantastic. As a broker, we are now challenged more than ever to consistently study our craft and ensure we are adding value to the broker-client relationship.
While there have been many changes in the industry, there are basic pillars that have not, and should not ever change: Putting client’s interests above all, integrity, service after closing, and delivering honest, straight-forward advice, even if it is hard for the client to hear.
What kinds of challenges have you faced in yachting, and how have you overcome them?
The business of yachting challenges me daily. It is fiercely competitive and there is no margin to take your foot off the gas. I am consistently working on my craft to better serve my clients.
As you can imagine, as a broker in my early 20s, it was challenging to find clients that took me seriously enough to allow me the opportunity to earn their business. I was incredibly prepared, dedicated, and ready for the opportunity, but convincing affluent yacht owners to allow me to represent them in the buying or selling of a multi-million-dollar asset was a difficult hurdle to overcome.
What are some of your most memorable and successful moments?
I have been fortunate enough to have many successes thus far in my career, but there are a few that stand out to me. These are not necessarily the largest transactions, but moments that I remember feeling incredibly proud:
- My first solo listing at 21 years old, a 2010 74ft Sunseeker Predator for $2.9 million with a gentleman that I met at the Miami Boat Show.
- My first new construction project was a 95ft Maori – I was 26 years old.
- Becoming an equity partner at a major international brokerage firm at 26 years old, and subsequently winning broker of the year twice in four years before moving to my current role as Vice President and shareholder at FGI Yacht Group.
- My largest (by length) brokerage transaction to date, 236ft (73m) Turquoise built, QUANTUM OF SOLACE in 2022. The vessel was asking €56 million.
- Winning an auction on behalf of my clients for the 2016 63ft Benetti WAKU in 2019 for $20+ Million.
What advice would you give to someone looking to join the yacht world?
Be prepared to navigate in a highly competitive industry, and more importantly, be prepared to learn and absorb as much information as you can from your clients.
We are fortunate enough to work for, and with, the business leaders of the world. They are highly intelligent and every conversation with them is an opportunity for us to grow.
What do you aspire to for the future?
On a personal level, I aspire to be the very best version of myself, personally and professionally. I aspire to be a man that my family is proud of.
Professionally, I aspire to lead FGI Yacht Group in our objective to become the premier full-service yachting firm in our industry. I aspire to mentor new generations of yachting professionals and allow them the same opportunities afforded to me.