Camper & Nicholson International
We have the best brokers, largest fleet of yachts, and also have offices worldwide, everywhere all the biggest yachts are to be found.
For the past 11 years, Jillian Montgomery has been the CEO of Camper & Nicholsons International, one of the world’s oldest and most successful leisure marine companies. With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Montgomery has played a substantial roll in the expansion of the company, cementing a position for CNI as one of the global leaders in all aspects of luxury yachting. Directly responsible for running the company’s offices in Europe, the United States, and Mexico, Montgomery exudes passion for the industry through her excitement and positive energy.
HAUTE LIVING What attracted you to the yachting industry?
JILLIAN MONTGOMERY When I moved to Monaco and saw the yachts, the thought of working in such an exciting environment was irresistible. I knew I had to be a part of this and have never regretted working in this thrilling, evolving industry.
HL What were your company’s yearly sales for 2007? Forecast for 2008?
JM We sold over a billion dollars worth of yachts and are hoping to do so again next year.
HL What are your tactics for staying at the top of the industry?
JM We strive to remain the best by offering a great service to our clients. We have the best brokers, largest fleet of yachts, and also have offices worldwide, everywhere all the biggest yachts are to be found.
HL Which is your favorite yacht on the water today? Why?
JM I couldn’t pick one. There are so many amazing yachts out there. I love the romance and thrill of the classic sailing yachts for a genuine sailing experience, but the large, modern motor yachts are spacious, stable, and exude glamour. The smaller, performance motor yachts are perfect for exploring the coastline of the Côte d’Azur, and their power and speed at a touch of the throttle is pure excitement.
HL What was the most outrageous/over-the-top request you have received from a client?
JM That would have to be for a luxury charter yacht just for their two dogs because the dogs didn’t like flying, but there are many stories I hear from our charter brokers. They really do go to the ends of the earth in search of some bizarre things for clients’ requests.
HL What are some of the current trends you are seeing in the yachting industry?
JM Boats are getting bigger and charters longer. We are also seeing more far-flung destinations such as the Far East and India and more round the world trips. The design of yachts is also changing to accommodate more sophisticated toys, such as submersibles and helicopters.
HL What is one piece of advice you always give to your clients?
JM I tell them that they have the services of an expert available, so always listen to the broker, be it for charter or sales. A good broker makes all the difference, and Camper & Nicholsons International have the best. We are completely tuned-in to the needs and wishes of our clients.
HL Tell us one thing most people wouldn’t know about you.
JM I used to be a croupier in a casino.
HL You’ll never be found without your…
JM High heels.
HL Where can we find you on a Friday night?
JM The American Bar at the Hotel de Paris.
HL What are your favorite vacation destinations and/or leisure activities?
JM I love the U.S. and am still exploring it, but my favorite vacation destination has to be Croatia. It is still so beautiful and unspoiled.
HL What features of a yacht do you feel are necessary luxuries?
JM A Jacuzzi, gymnasium, and sumptuous furnishings. But it is the interior designer and the owner that go the extra mile to really make the yachts in our fleet stand out. It’s all about the little touches.
HL What is your favorite name for a yacht?
JM I loved the name of Robert Maxwell’s yacht, which was named after his daughter, Lady Ghislaine.
HL When it comes to yacht size, is there such a thing as too big?
JM Sometimes that can be the case because the marinas in the main do not have berths big enough for extremely large yachts. This means that these yachts have to either berth in the commercial area of a marina or anchor off, neither of which are ideal situations.
HL What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in the industry?
JM The huge growth in the industry over the last few decades has presented a challenge. What started off as a cottage industry has grown enormously worldwide and is still growing, and I am proud to have been a part of this. CNI is the pioneers of superyacht charter, and Mr. George Nicholson really is the original broker. Keeping up with the growth is a challenge, but with the established teams at CNI it is an exciting one.
HL What is the “next big thing” we can expect to see from your company?
JM You’ll have to wait and see. I’m not giving away our future plans to the rest of the industry.