Leader Of The Seas: David Lewis, Sunseeker Yachts
DAVID LEWIS is a very well known character in the ultra high-net-worth circles. Surely if you make millions and love yachts, the charming and charismatic Lewis will be your first port of call.
A close friend of Carphone Warehouse Founder John Caudwell and former wife Claire Caudwell, Lewis recently attended thier Butterfly Ball Charity Gala which raised £1.66m in a matter of hours. In total, Lewis has helped raise over £5m for some of the most worthwhile UK charities and dedicates much of his personal time and resources to sitting on fundraising boards for four UK charities.
Lewis co-founded Sunseeker in 1993 and today, the extensive dealer network spans the globe, bringing world-class service from this British brand. Based at Mayfair’s Davies Street nd spread across a two-story office building, his team sells more yachts than any other dealership in the world (within the group); last year Lewis’s team made a turnover of £130,000,000. This is a clear indicator that the 2008 economic crisis is well behind us and it reflects that high- net-worth individuals are back to top spending again, which includes art, property, wine and jewellery. However nothing quite matches the Holy Grail of luxury lifestyle-yachts.
Sunseeker boats range in size from 57ft up to 155ft, and includes sports yachts, performance cruisers and marine toys. The team also provides chartering and a pre-owned yacht brokerage, and have an extensive contact list in Europe and the rest of the world, giving clients the maximum visibility in both home and international markets - a big advantage whether you are buying or selling.
“ in 2015, our London office made a turnover of £130,000,000, a sum larger than any other Sunseeker dealership worldwide ”
Artist Jessica Katz (daughter of Nancy Spielberg
David Lewis, Director of Sunseeker London and Tomer Ben CEO & Founder, Solomon Mines Luxury Jewish Magazine
SOLOMON MINES: How has the yachting industry changed in recent years?
DAVID LEWIS: The industry has changed massively. I clearly remember the pivotal moment when Monaco, St Tropez and the South of France became popular. The French Riviera used to only have a few small boats in anchorage. However, when you compare it to today, Monaco’s Grand Prix, it is a completely different story. We usually have a dozen boats during the F1 season and the sight of superyachts above 100m in length at sea is no longer a rarity. The only thing in yachting that hasn’t changed and will never change are the great moments of pleasure and memories that sharing a boat with your friends and family creates.
SOLOMON MINES: You have a very unique character: sharp, ambitious and very knowledgeable. How do you pass on this philosophy to sales teams spread across 25 offices?
DAVID LEWIS: We regularly organise seminars and training days because as you know-for example, how can you sell a Ferrari if you don’t know how it feels to drive one at high speed? We make sure our team knows what discerning clients require, down to the smallest details, such as interior design materials to satellite navigation systems.
SOLOMON MINES: Where do you enjoy cruising?
DAVID LEWIS: It has to be St Tropez on board our Sunseeker 86.
SOLOMON MINES:The BBC documentary ‘Britain’s Biggest Superyachts: Chasing Perfection’ featured Sunseeker. What do you make of it?
DAVID LEWIS: It is an honour that the BBC has chosen to feature Sunseeker and we have been delighted to welcome camera crews into our world over the past year. We hope that the film will not only showcase this wonderful product but will enlighten viewers about a truly successful British brand that everyone should be proud of. The film showcases various areas of the brand, from the apprentices’ first days in the iconic Sunseeker shipyards in Poole to interviews with legendary founder Robert Braithwaite. Viewers come away with a real insight into what it takes to sell a magnificent Sunseeker yacht and of course, both the Cannes and Southampton Boat Show feature heavily as they are the most lucrative sales events during the boating season. Directed by Christian Trumble, this fascinating programme provides viewers with a rare glimpse into this leading British luxury brand and shows how hard work and diplomacy, mixed with passion and enthusiasm, have combined to create a recipe for ultimate success.
For Sunseeker Yacht sales, charter and pre-owned, visit: Sunseekerlondon.com