The path of life seems to happen so randomly at times. Fresh out of college, Berthon USA Managing Broker Jennifer Stewart moved to Newport, Rhode Island with two friends just for the summer, and 45 years later, she is still there!
She writes: “In 1981, I began as an administrative assistant to a new yacht sales firm that had just opened on America’s Cup Avenue – Nautor’s Swan. After a short period of time, the job description changed with my involvement in sales confirmations/build changes, handling spare parts, preparing ads, organizing and working the boat shows, as well as organizing the Swan American Regattas. It was a fun time, with sponsorship money flowing like water, lots of customers participating, which led to more boats selling.
Having two children in this busy time period made it a little more interesting, especially when in one year, I was in Finland seven times – never mind the other locations.
In 1993, after the restructuring of the American Swan offices, I became the first female Nautor’s Swan agent, top agent in 1998 worldwide, until we parted ways in 2003, forming another company, Scandinavian Yachts.
Given my familiarity with the Scandinavian/Northern Europe market and geography, my focus was on boats built in those areas, such as Najads, brokerage Swans and Baltics, Contest, etc., and our office routinely moved the most brokerage product in the USA for many years, with repeat customers averaging well over 50%.
Eventually, Berthon International’s Managing Director Sue Grant and I sold several boats together, and realized that we got on extremely well. We have the same ethical background and focus on finding the right boat for our customer, and then providing the assistance needed before & after the purchase.
So, there was a little discussion back and forth, and in 2010, this office became Berthon USA, and it has been a great partnership. Berthon’s UK HQ provides all of the worldwide offices with a huge support network and the extensive marketing that we were not able to do alone. Our bi-weekly team meetings keep us up to date on what is happening in the EU and you can’t beat local knowledge!
Berthon USA, small as it is, can easily work with customers anywhere, and because we are small, the brokers here work as a team, and any of us can help you.
My business partner, Alan Baines and I, have been together since 1993, disbursing the workloads to our various strengths, and it WORKS. Give us a call and let us help you with your yacht purchase.”