After 23 years with the company, Bruce Brakenhoff Jr. has announced he has left his position as President of Perini Navi USA to join brokerage and charter firm Edmiston. SuperYacht Times can reveal that Brakenhoff Jr. will now be leading Edmiston’s fast-growing US division. Having brought his Perini Navi USA team with him, Bruce will be working alongside Robert Shepherd who heads up US operations for Edmiston. Here we share more about the move in an exclusive interview with Bruce, Robert and Edmiston’s Chief Executive, Jamie Edmiston.First of all, Bruce, congratulations on joining Edmiston. What made you decide to make the move from Perini Navi?
A couple of years ago when Mr Perini was no longer the main shareholder, it occurred to me that all things do eventually come to an end. For the first time, I began to think about a different chapter in my career. I turned 60 last year and my wife and I decided that it was time for something new, so I reached out to Jamie and in February I began to think seriously about resigning from Perini Navi USA.
There's a tremendous opportunity here at Edmiston thanks to its amazing infrastructure. The company arms its brokers and managers with the tools to conduct business and I feel that the new US team will be a perfect fit. Sure, I got approached by other people and this move may surprise some, but I gave Jamie my word. We click and understand each other so I think we're going to complement each other really well. Photo: Edmiston Jamie, you worked together with Bruce back in 2018 on one of the largest Perini Navi sales ever. Did the success of this deal influence your decision to employ Bruce? And, do you have further plans to expand Edmiston?
In my opinion, Edmiston is a successful company because we have a diverse workforce with a variety of skills and without a doubt, I can see that Bruce will fit in well. This is an opportunity for us to form a new and, what I believe will be, very strong and compelling partnership. Thanks to the collaboration on the large Perini Navi sale, I was able to work closely with Bruce and got to know him very well. The sale was finalised relatively quickly, despite its complications.
We have recently made a number of other strategic decisions at Edmiston, this one being the biggest and most visible. In addition, we've invested heavily in tech and will continue to invest in having great people on our team as ultimately, we are a people business.
This move is a lot more than just a few new additional brokers, they're bringing with them an amazing 85 years of experience. As two powerful groups who are joining forces, it will clearly help grow Edmiston’s success in the Americas. We have found that there is a great deal of crossover between clients that I think will help to get deals across the line together as a team.
Given Bruce's experience with the Buckets and Perini Cups, I think it's safe to assume that we will have more of a presence at these events because, as we know, when times get tough the relationship with a client is really important. Bruce and I are already brainstorming ideas for when we are together in Newport – which is a great location. There are so many superyachts right outside the office window here and so we feel very strategically placed. Same with our New York office, which has one of the biggest central agency fleets in the industry. These are times when people are spending their money differently and I see a lot of opportunities for growth. You will have to wait and see what we have in store!
Find out more about Bruce and his plans for the future in an upcoming issue of The SuperYacht Times newspaper. To get your copy, subscribe here.