At the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami, Italian yachtbuilder Sanlorenzo announced the arrival of a new CEO, Fulvio Dodich. We sat down with Dodich, a former high-level Ferretti executive, to discuss his new role, alongside a former competitor, Sanlorenzo founder and majority shareholder Massimo Perroti.
Where were you in the past few years?
For five years I worked for an investment fund. It has given me the opportunity to analyze the market closely.
So, what is your current view of the economy?
It’s getting better in several areas, particularly the United States, which is a very important market for Sanlorenzo. Here, people are looking at spending money and they are looking at boats again. Latin America also is performing well. But, in other parts of the world, the High Net Worth Individuals do not want to show themselves as the ones who want to buy boats. In Europe, for instance, it is a very big problem, and we can forget Italy, Spain and Greece for a while. In the Middle East, however, this is not a problem at all.
What does that mean for yachtbuilders?
There has been a natural selection process. There were so many shipyards building just a few boats a year 10 years ago. The market was very fragmented. This is changing fast. The survivors have developed a new level of fitness. I believe it makes them suited for a brilliant future.
What do you think of Sanlorenzo’s position currently?
I think it is in an excellent position to grow. Sanlorenzo has a wonderful team of managers and it has a good range of product. There is a real interest in a few of the newly introduced models, such as the 42 Explorer and the megayachts. One of the keys to keeping clients in this difficult period is to offer new and good products. Massimo Perotti has invested in this important area and made good boats even better. We have a great range of planing, semi-displacement and full-displacement yachts.
How do you see your role as the new CEO?
I am not here because there is something wrong with the company. I bring added energy and knowledge. I am here to help the company grow and reach its goals. The management has worked very hard to build a well-oiled business machine. We are working on expanding geographically through dealerships, partnerships and distribution networks, especially in emerging markets (Asia, Latin America). Reaching new clients in these areas is very important. But perhaps one of our primary areas of focus is taking care of the client. Our clients are used to a very high level of lifestyle. That is why we deliver custom-built yachts; we are here to exceed their expectations. We will have additional tools to follow our clients and cater to them with precision and care. After all there is no better salesman than a happy client.
How do you envision your relationship with Massimo Perotti? You used to be competitors (he at Azimut-Benetti; you at Ferretti).
We have known each other for a long time and always have respected each other. Our roles here are very clear. Massimo is a majority shareholder and the founder of Sanlorenzo. I am here to help the company grow. There is no conflict.