YATCO’s Broker of the Month series examines the influences and catalysts that brought these brokers into the world of yachting, who influenced them, and what they seek to change in the industry.
Featuring Ömer Balkan, Yacht Broker of BTWO Marine
How did you get your start in yachting?
I was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey, but my passion for the sea had me graduating from the maritime academy in 2001 when I started my career in yachting as a captain, which was and still is my passion.
Shortly after, I moved to southern France as I wanted to gain experience and valuable knowledge which would lead me forward in my yachting career.
Is there anyone in particular who influences you – someone in the industry that you look up to, and why?
I believe that everyone in our industry is impressive and people in the marine industry fascinate me every day. It is amazing how people from different cultures, social statuses and understanding about the world get together and smoothly communicate, united by their love of the water. In my personal opinion, managers in our industry are among the most intelligent and flexible individuals you could meet.
What do you enjoy most about the yachting industry and what do you wish you could change?
I love the established relationships with people from all over the world.
If I could change something that would be to bring the STCW (Y) standard in the Yachting Industry and I would separate the ship and yacht industry from each other because 90% of the yachts live within 12 miles from the coast and 90% of ships live outside 12 miles.
Do you have any advice for someone wishing to join the yachting industry?
Don’t be afraid to take risks, ask questions and learn as much as possible.
What are some of the challenges you come across at work, and how do you approach them?
Seeing the two different types of owners emerge – those that have been in the industry a long time, and the newer clients that are just stepping into yachting.
Sometimes this can create a clash, but I am very impressed to see how they are now interacting and doing business together.
Tell us about your greatest accomplishment.
Selling a total of 145m worth of yachts in one deal.
What is your favorite yacht currently for sale and why?
Unasola as she is truly stunning!