Newly founded FGI Yacht Group is making waves in the industry

FGI Yacht Group has been making waves in the brokerage scene, headed up by a father-son duo— both with a great rapport and reputation in the industry. FGI has gone from strength-to-strength in less than three years. 

Frank Grzeszczak Sr. hardly needs an introduction, as he’s not only sold a great number of yachts; he was also named top broker at least seven times while working for a leading brokerage house. Frank Grzeszczak Jr. is following in his father’s footsteps and has a plethora of yacht sales under his belt. He earned top broker in the same leading brokerage house twice before the age of 30.Frank Jr and FGI Yacht Group team This year alone, FGI Yacht Group has secured signatures for six motor yachts, including the following: the 82-metre Admiral Project Skyfall,  The 62-metre Benetti Lumiere, now called Sorrento, the 42-metre Benetti Legasea, now called Emina, the 36.88-metre motor yacht Mammi Mammi by Sunseeker, the 31.4-metre Azimut Arreee!, and the 26.8-metre Bel Sogno by Riva

Frank Jr. also disclosed that another new construction project will be announced in the coming weeks, which brings the total of current new construction projects underway by FGI to six yachts.

We caught up with Frank Sr. and Frank Jr. to hear more about FGI Yacht Group and the experience of company development during a global pandemic. We also took the opportunity to discover what the future holds for the brokerage firm.Galileo 80 yacht exterior design FGI Yacht Group was founded in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic. Were there any moments you considered backpedaling?

Frank Sr: The day I signed the lease for the building was the same day the lockdown happened in the United States – I almost didn’t do it, but we were already so far in the process and couldn’t turn back. We secured a prime storefront location on Las Olas Blvd in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. It was perfect and we decided it was a risk worth taking!

In our beginning stages as a company, we acquired the Neptune Group, a well-known and respected charter company. This addition allowed us to accelerate our growth and credibility in the charter sector.Mammi Mammi yacht cruising Speaking of growth, FGI continues to grow the team geographically. Please fill us in on the FGI expansion and future plans.

Frank Jr: We have entered the market in Mexico after maintaining very strong business relationships in Mexico City for many years. Our partners are two long-term clients: One has been doing business with my father for 30+ years and the other is a long-term client of mine. Both families are some of the most respected in Latin America, and we are proud to call them our partners. The market in Mexico is extremely strong, yet difficult to enter successfully. We are fortunate our expansion into Mexico has yielded instant results in terms of new business.Mine Games cruisingPhoto: Moustafa MazharWhat’s next for FGI Yacht Group? Do you have any expansion plans lined up for the near future?

Frank Sr: Yes, as an evolving and growing company, we are always looking for new business opportunities. In fact, we are happy to announce that FGI has expanded to the Hamptons. Our new office in East Hampton, New York opens this summer. It’s extremely exciting, and we’re proud to be the only superyacht brokerage firm in East Hampton.FGI Yacht Group East Hampton officeFrank Jr: The Hamptons expansion is part of our strategic growth plan. The Hamptons is known as one of the premier destinations in the United States where our clients congregate during summer months and have a rich history in yachting. Our location follows FGI’s pattern of finding prime storefronts to service our current clients and develop new business.

Frank Sr: Looking forward, we plan to continue our strategic geographical expansion while introducing new services to our clients. We do not wish to forecast our next moves, but I will divulge that we are looking to bring FGI to Europe.Arreee! yacht runningHow does FGI Yacht Group stand out from the competition – do you employ a unique approach?

Frank Sr: FGI started with two people, me and Altea Llakmani, our COO. Our goal was to focus on our strengths and provide white-glove tailored service to our clients. In a short time, we have grown exponentially and now have 17 team members, including our most recent joiner and top charter broker in the industry, Barbara Stork Landeweer. As we’ve grown, we’ve made sure to not lose sight of our original goal – to be a company that operates with a personal approach that’s both honest and accessible.

Frank Jr: We’re a very nimble family-owned company, and we understand our strengths - sales and charter. Between my father and I, we’ve proven it over the years. FGI is a young company, but we are experienced with an undeniable history of results.

We also take a lot of pride in keeping our clients and building our business based on referrals. The only way this is achieved in our industry is through honesty, integrity and by completing the task that the client has entrusted us to achieve. This is a results-driven business. Bottom line.Riva 88 Florida yacht Bel SognoThe US market is very successful at the moment, do you think it's sustainable?

Frank Sr: The market right now is more successful than I’ve ever seen. Covid, unpredictably, took the yachting industry as a whole to new heights. Yacht sales and charters have never been more in demand than today.

Whether it’s sustainable is difficult to predict; there are many factors in the world today that leads us to believe that we will experience a correction in the sales market. How deep of a correction is impossible to predict, yet we are cautiously optimistic and prepared.

Frank Jr: Our industry has proven to be resilient through difficult times in recent history, from Covid, lockdowns, travel restrictions, war, etc. The recent surge of business our industry has undergone solidifies that in challenging times, our clients find solace being on their yachts or chartering yachts with family.Frank Jr and FGI Yacht Group team Further, it cannot be understated that the increase of rapid wealth has assisted with industry growth; People are becoming wealthier at a pace that's never been seen before. Is it sustainable at current levels? Likely not. Sales may eventually slow down. In fact, it will. However, the charter business will likely continue to grow at an unprecedented rate because of this new creation of wealth.