New yachting shop opens in Newport Beach

Engel & Völkers (E&Y), the real estate and yachting services group, is expanding its yacht-related activities to the US from its core Mediterranean region. The initial move is the setting-up of a yachting shop in Newport Beach, California.

The new US operation is currently based in the Engel & Völkers Newport Beach real estate shop and has a team of eight advisors covering the company’s full range of yachting services including new-build, sale and purchase brokerage, management, chartering and other support options. This new location adds to the two shops that E&Y currently operates in Monaco and Antibes.

The US yachting expansion for E&Y has been achieved through a partnership with Walter Johnson and Leeann Iacino of Walter Johnson Yachts, and Paul Benson, who is a licence partner for over 25 E&Y real estate shops in Utah. Johnson, who has been active in the yachting market for over 30 years, is the president for the new operation and will oversee its day-to-day running. Iacino will be chief operating officer.

Commenting on the new development, Anthony Hitt, president & CEO of Engels & Völkers America, said: “This is a tremendous milestone for our growth in the Americas. We’ve seen the value for our clientele by offering both luxury real estate and yachting services, which very much complement one another. This also opens exciting new referral opportunities for our global real estate network and strengthens the portfolio of offerings to our clients in the Americas and abroad.”

There are plans to expand the yachting activity beyond Newport Beach, details of which will be made known in the future.

Benson added: “There was no yachting brand in the Americas with the reputation and ability to service both new and resale boats at all levels, which presented a huge untapped market opportunity for Engel & Völkers. Yachting has traditionally been an insular, niche community, on a global scale. Engel & Völkers’ brand recognition and esteemed heritage opens up this new opportunity to our clients in the closely adjacent luxury real estate market with the added value we bring as a known quantity with a reputation for attention to detail and the highest level of service.”

Johnson remarked: “We believe wholeheartedly that yachting is a people-first business,” says Johnson. “We’re not just selling boats; we’re helping our clients to achieve their dreams and create memories that will last a lifetime. It was Engel & Völkers’ like-minded business ethos that initially drew us to the brand, and we feel the time is right to introduce a fresh approach to modern yachting to the market in Newport Beach.

“It’s not about waiting and hoping for clients to find you; it’s about being proactive and understanding what a client is looking for, before they have to ask,” he continued. “The power of the Engel & Völkers’ global network, the tools and resources they provide, and the familiarity of a brand name known for luxury will help us meet this need in the market and take our business to the next level.”