By Giuliano Luzzatto
Shortly after the launch of SW105GT Taniwha, Italian journalist Giuliano Luzzatto met our Management team to discover Southern Wind’s new course. The article was published on April 21st on PressMare.it, a digital magazine specialised in international sailboat news.
Southern Wind Shipyard’s new course sees a globally orientated company in expansion. With European shareholders, a loyal and international management and the shipyard in South Africa, it’s a crossroad of different cultures. Open minds and flexibility are the basis of this company’s growth and staying true to its corporate values is its driver.
Southern Wind Shipyard was founded in Cape Town in 1991 by the engineer Willy Persico, a charismatic entrepreneur who made the shipyard an international success story that continues today, almost three years after he sadly passed away. This continuity comes thanks to the fact that Persico passed his baton to his closest collaborators and to a team of new shareholders, all sailors and yachtsmen. with a clear vision and fresh outlook.
We spoke with General Manager and Director Marco Alberti and with Commercial Director Andrea Micheli, a familiar face to anyone who frequents the world of Maxi and Superyachts.
How are the new managerial team and the new shareholders structured at Southern Wind Shipyard? How do they work together?
Andrea Micheli: The new ownership is 100% through a holding that’s based in Amsterdam. There are three shareholders, one is Spanish, one is Dutch and one is from a family that is part Italian, part Swiss. Each one of these shareholders has a 25% share while the remaining 25% belongs to SWS management. The holding company controls both Southern Wind and Pegaso, the Italian company that was created to be the shipyard’s commercial arm and that now manages a series of activities from chartering to yacht management and not just for Southern Wind owners. Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, who is Spanish and is the owner of SW105 Kiboko Tres, is the management group’s public representative while the other shareholders are very involved but from behind the scenes.
Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, is the epitome of a Southern Wind owner: he has built three yachts in Cape Town with us, he grew up sailing and has lots of experience on the water be it long distance blue water cruising or racing in top regattas. He has learned the ropes in every sense and can give potential new owners the confidence they need when they approach our shipyard.
What talents have the new shareholders brought to the SWS table?
Marco Alberti: On top of Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, each of the new shareholders has brought his own experience and skillset. One of the shareholders is also the Executive Director of the Holding and the Chairman of the Board. He has brought a new point of view to our administrative operative systems. The other is an expert in marketing.
Speaking in general, the new shareholders see the shipyard and the yachting market from above, almost as if they were outsiders, whereas we see it from the inside. To combine these two different points of view all of our Directors are also shareholders. This to make sure that strategic guidelines are followed and that operative decisions are implemented in the best possible way.