Meet the Team: Jeremy Comport
After 5 years of stellar service in our French Riviera office, we had the chance to sit down with Group Director, Jeremy Comport, to find out more about his impressive career thus far.
Having grown up as a keen competitive sailor, Jeremy was plunged into the world of yachting from an early age, and has since spent decades building experience in brokerage deals as well as a number of new builds. Since his introduction to Ocean Independence in 2017, Jeremy has played an instrumental role in generating and growing both brokerage and new build yacht sales business.
OI: What inspired you to work in the yachting industry?
My father was a naval architect and sail maker, so I grew up around boats - particularly sailing boats. I raced various dinghies, Enterprises, and lasers, amongst others. My other passion was snow skiing. In my late teens/early twenties I spent my winters in the French Alps. I worked on the yachts in the South of France to help fund my winter seasons.
OI: What is your favourite part of your job?
I think that the incredibly eclectic and diverse people that we deal with is probably the most interesting part of the job. This is from Owners and clients to the various industry colleagues. I enjoy the negotiation process and the technical aspects of putting the transaction together, as well as the technical complexity of the yachts that we deal with, be it at survey time for a brokerage deal or when working with an Owner’s team on a new build project or refit.
The travel and diversity involved in our daily tasks also ensure that we are constantly stimulated and challenged. No two days are the same and no two deals are the same.
OI: What aspects of your job would you say challenge you the most?
The challenges that we face are often out of our control, such as when you have identified a suitable yacht for a prospective client, however, the yacht has a busy cruising schedule and it is difficult to organise an inspection.
You can also find that, sometimes, clients are being guided by a friend, who purports to be extremely opinionated, but is not always as well-informed as they could be, and of course this can be frustrating if it impacts the transaction.
OI: What are some of the career highlights from your five years with Ocean Independence?
- Realising that many of my long-term clients understood and supported my move to Ocean Independence.
- Guiding a client in all aspects of a new build project and being able to visit them on board this summer and hear how happy they were.
- Consistent sales and closed deals.
- Being appointed as Group Director.
- The end of travel restrictions!
OI: What are some of your favourite activities outside of work?
I enjoy being out on the water whenever possible. I try to go water-skiing and wakesurfing regularly, and particularly enjoy it when we can do it as a family with my wife and our children - who have been lucky to have grown up in that world and now challenge me to keep improving!
I enjoy cycling and most outdoor sports and activities. We are blessed to be living in the South of France which offers the climate and an exceptional playground for so many activities.
In the winter months, we enjoy being in the mountains. In recent years I have taken up telemark skiing, so this gives me great incentive to try to stay fit.
I also enjoy hosting family and close friends at our home and love nothing more than planning and preparing a meal for such gatherings. I particularly love partaking in new culinary experiences - whether through my own cooking, or picking up tips and ideas whilst on my travels.
OI: What is your favourite yacht and why?
There are so many yachts that come to mind, each for different reasons! With so many different aspects to a yacht, picking one would be extremely difficult. I generally try to keep an open mind, and will often walk off a yacht after an inspection saying “I really like her”, and then I try to profile who the buyer could be and which of my clients could appreciate her.
I am often drawn to some of the classic Feadships. I appreciate the quality in terms of R&D, as well as the execution, and they are usually extremely well-maintained and have particularly proud and professional crews working on board. I think the crew play a major part in your first impressions of a yacht, and certainly in your long term enjoyment of the yacht as an Owner or charterer.
OI: What are your three top tips for someone looking to break into the yacht sales industry?
- Join a company such as Ocean Independence, with strong core values and ethics and that embraces teamwork.
- Ensure that you build up good product knowledge before you start facing clients. Listen and learn all the time, it never stops. Keep gaining knowledge.
- You need to be patient, yet extremely reactive when the opportunity presents itself.
OI: What is the coolest feature you’ve seen on a yacht?
I think that the sheer size and volume of the floodable tender bay on board OCTOPUS, the 126m Lurssen, with its 10 man submarine and variety of tenders was a real eye opener which I struggled to comprehend - even more so due to the fact that she was delivered in 2003.
OI: What trends do you see emerging in yacht sales?
The client is looking for experiences over actual features or purely aesthetic preferences. It’s now more about creating the best yachting experience for their needs, and less about having the best, most flashy onboard amenities. And as the market matures, clients are becoming more and more informed on yachting trends, which obviously impacts their likelihood to purchase.
OI: What features do buyers typically look for in a yacht?
Every client is different in what they are looking for. I think that the one common thread is that most clients want to feel as though they have had a good deal and value for money when making the acquisition.
OI: What is one thing that has surprised you about working in the yachting industry?
How fast the market has evolved over the last 10 years - both in terms of the sheer size, and even more so, in the number of large yachts over 60m that have been built and delivered!
Learn more about Ocean Independence's yacht sales services here.