For centuries, Geneva has served as a global trading and financial hub, dominating commodity trading and financial markets throughout Europe. In 2008, International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI) was strategically building a decentralized network of local offices around the world and opened a representative office in Geneva to complement the long-standing Zurich office. Tasked with expanding the corporate market for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry in French speaking Switzerland, Patrick Bachofner, now Worldwide Director, Yachts, saw significant opportunity in Geneva beyond the corporate market.
“Geneva is a key hub for many international business sectors, family foundations, multi-national organizations, and private banks, and we quickly attracted not only corporate, but also clients engaged in the maritime and yacht sectors,” noted Patrick. “Like each region in the world, the Geneva market has its own personality and needs,” he continued.
With the significant concentration of international organizations and global industry leaders in Geneva, Patrick saw an opportunity for the RMI Registry to use Geneva as a center for yacht operations and activities in Europe. Using his previous experience in international business, and his intimate knowledge of the local market, Patrick developed a plan to adapt the RMI’s Yacht Program to meet European requirements.
“In 2010, the global economy shifted dramatically, and we were looking at significant changes to the corporate market,” remembered Patrick. “The greatest yacht traffic in the world is in the South of France and Mediterranean, and since the RMI Registry is internationally recognized for its safe vessel operations and high standards, I knew there was an opportunity for collaboration, to bring together Europe’s superyacht industry and the RMI Registry.”
With the support of IRI’s senior leaders, local yacht experts, and experienced yacht professionals in other IRI offices, Patrick put together a plan to adapt the successful RMI yacht registry program to meet the demands of the European superyacht market. Quickly, Geneva developed into a de facto European headquarters for the RMI Yacht Program and today accounts for the majority of yacht registrations.
“We engaged Alexander von Stein as an RMI Yachting Advisor based in Monaco / South of France who already held a strong local presence and expanded our Geneva team to support the individualized registration and support that superyachts require,” noted Patrick. “At the same time, Marc Verburg was expanding technical operations in the Roosendaal office, and we were able to offer yacht clients full specialized technical, registration, and administrative support from our European offices.”
The investment in yacht specific resources based in the Geneva, Roosendaal, Istanbul, London, and Fort Lauderdale offices has resulted in substantial growth of the RMI Registry’s Yacht Team and program over the past decade.
“All the credit goes to our teams. In Geneva, we have cultivated a long-standing collaboration, functioning seamlessly as a unified team. We complement each other, provide consistent support, and possess a deep understanding of the international yacht market as well as the environment in Geneva. Our Swiss offices work closely with our colleagues around the world to develop and maintain long term relationships with clients and strive to offer the best service experience.”