Yachting Champion Mark Richards To Be Named CEO
Grand Banks Yachts Limited announced today it would acquire a 100%-stake in Palm Beach Motor Yacht Co Pty Ltd of Australia. Upon completion of the acquisition, Palm Beach founder Mark Richards – one of Australia’s most successful yachtsmen in recent times – will be appointed CEO of the enlarged group.
Grand Banks said the transaction would strengthen the position of the Singapore-listed luxury motor yacht builder as a global company with two world-class brands that are well represented in the leading markets of the North America, Australia, Asia and Europe. The manufacturing facilities of both brands will continue to operate at their respective locations – Grand Banks in Malaysia and Palm Beach in Australia.
Palm Beach designs and builds five different highly-customized yacht models ranging from 45 to 65 feet which are mostly sold in the United States – its largest market. Palm Beach was founded in 1995 by Richards, 46, a seven-time champion skipper of the 628-mile Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race between 2005 and 2013. Richards also led Australia to victory in the last Admiral’s Cup race in the U.K. in 2003 and has participated in two America’s Cup regattas, representing Australia.
Under Richards’ leadership, Palm Beach has developed a global reputation for designing and producing one of the highest quality and most efficient luxury motor yachts in today’s market by utilizing modern materials and construction technologies.
“With Mark as incoming CEO, this critical leadership role will be filled by a qualified boat-builder with a deep passion and experience for yachting, combined with a proven track record of technological innovation and success in building and marketing boats internationally. It is a rare combination and a remarkable fit coming at a critical juncture of Grand Banks’ own transformation,” said Heine Askaer-Jensen, Grand Banks’ Chairman.
Richards said: “This transaction is a major personal decision which is driven by my firm belief that the expanded investment and development of both Palm Beach and Grand Banks, together with the skills and collective will of the two brands, will combine to make the enlarged group one of the world’s leading luxury boat-building companies. I have deep respect for the Grand Banks brand, and it will be a great honor for me to further strengthen the brand and to lead it to continued success.”
Upon appointment of Richards as CEO, Peter Poli will relinquish his role as Acting CEO and continue with his role as Chief Financial Officer of the enlarged group.