Inside Moravia Yachting with Kurt Fraser

Written by Gemma Fottles

Moravia Yachting has been a staple in Monaco’s glittering Port Hercule since the early 1960s. Specialising in providing brokerage and yacht charter services to the world’s most discerning superyacht clients, evolution, they say, has been the key to so many successful decades in business. Acquired by the Hill Robinson Group in 2017 and officially relaunched in November 2020, the refreshed and revitalised Moravia Yachting is the latest evolution of the Moravia brand. With a totally modernised image and a carefully selected team of experts, Moravia Yachting offers owners the care and attention of a boutique brokerage house with all the expertise, stability and strength of a multi-national group.Kurt Fraser headshotWelcoming industry expert Kurt Fraser as Sales and Marketing Director for the Hill Robinson Group last year, here we talk to Fraser about their complete brand relaunch and what makes Moravia Yachting one of the most exciting next-generation brokerage firms in the business.

Tell us how the relationship between Hill Robinson and Moravia Yachting developed.

Evolution and change are essential for every brand. When Hill Robinson acquired Moravia Yachting in 2017, it was a fantastic opportunity for the Moravia brand to enter its next chapter. The Hill Robinson partners recognised a shared ethos when it came to how Moravia has approached business over the past 50+ years – Moravia has always been renowned for care and attention of individual needs and focuses on adding as much value as possible to the client.

Hill Robinson was founded on the partners’ understanding that there is a need for highly specialised yacht management services around operational expertise. Services that ultimately save yacht owners significant amounts of money and insulate them from risk. It’s always been integral for Hill Robinson to maintain its pure focus on these essential services to owners instead of being influenced by the commission-led services. So the two brands are very complimentary and work together hand in glove, but they are two separate businesses. Together we are stronger than the sum of our individual parts.Monaco portYou joined the company in 2020 but have worked in the industry for over a decade. Tell us about your background.

I come from Vancouver, Canada originally, and I spent my first professional years as a strategy director for one of Western Canadas largest creative agencies. I went on to specialise in luxury travel and destination real estate across the USA, Europe and luxury branded residence hotspots. My entrance to the yachting industry came in 2009 when I was chosen to launch Porto Montenegro marina into the market. I then headed several sales and marketing projects across the luxury resort, destination marina, and yacht brokerage sectors.

Joining Hill Robinson and Moravia Yachting as Sales and Marketing Director in April 2020 was an excellent opportunity and perfectly suited to my background. One of the things I found very appealing about this particular brokerage setup is that you can provide a more personalised, detailed service on a client by client basis – with a purposefully focused fleet compared to the much larger fleets of the more traditional brokerage companies. But what makes it especially interesting is that this more intimate brokerage firm also has the backing of a large business that is very well funded, with extremely deep pools of talent and expertise. That knowledge and expertise are ready for a retail company to utilise and benefit from, and Moravia is precisely that. That is pretty unique in the market.

Where did the rebranding process begin?

The most important aspect of the process was ensuring that Moravia Yachting is completely aligned with the philosophy of Hill Robinson. This means super-serving clients, maintaining an acute focus on client needs, and providing a niche approach that differs from the larger brokerage houses. To fundamentally mirror Hill Robinson’s ethos, we needed a handpicked team of individuals that believed in the strength of a highly cooperative team. It has to be about the value we are giving clients. It can’t be driven by the commission. Otherwise, the original intent or purpose of Hill Robinson disappears. So we have a growing team of great people from across the sales and charter sides of the business. We’re continuing to build Moravia Yachting around people looking to leverage Hill Robinson’s strength in this empowered, team-led environment.Yacht beach platformWhat makes Moravia an exciting career prospect for industry professionals?

Working at a brokerage house like Moravia Yachting – which is designed to be highly flexible and responsive to client needs while having the complete backing of Hill Robinson – is a very empowering position for a broker. We expect that our brokers bring significant experience to their roles but who are perhaps seeking a more nimble organisation compared to the larger, more traditional brokerage houses.

It’s a really interesting space for someone with a lot of brokerage experience who wants to increase their focus and service delivery to their clients. Someone who recognises that it’s possible to deliver even higher levels of client service excellence when they are supported by a team of technical and operational experts completely willing to jump in and assist. That’s very much the spirit of the Hill Robinson and Moravia Yachting combined team.

I have focused my attention on building highly functional teams throughout my career, handpicking individuals who will play well with each other and really just have fun in their careers. The company has provided us with an excellent platform for this philosophy. The executive team has very high hopes for business success on the back of this approach to setting up a very positive, empowering environment for our team.Superyacht cruising aerialWhat do the next five years look like at Moravia Yachting?

Over the next couple of years, we’ll be expanding the team and growing the business. We are having a lot of fun with this right now: finding those individuals looking for a different kind of team experience while still being backed by the power of Hill Robinson. We’re looking to have more yachts for central agency, more retail buyers and an excellent retail charter team that helps our clients enjoy yachting in absolute confidence.

The synergy between Moravia Yachting and Hill Robinson promises optimal value alongside peerless management on a global scale. Their 12 offices span the globe from London to Fort Lauderdale, from Antibes to Australia. For more information on Moravia Yachting, get in touch with the team at the contact details below.

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