CEO Series: Q&A with Pendennis's Mike Carr and Toby Allies
The Virtual BOAT Show speaks to Mike Carr & Toby Allies, who became joint managing directors of Pendennis in 1993 and 2018 respectively.
What developments have taken place at the company during the past few months?
MC: Pendennis has been a hive of activity over the last few months, our 400 strong in-house workforce has worked hard to achieve two significant deliveries as well as sustaining progress with ongoing projects. The first of the deliveries was the 74.5 metre Lady E, complete with a new six metre stern extension housing a brand-new beach club. This was followed shortly after by the launch of the 39 metre Hoek Truly Classic Halekai, our second construction project from the design boards of the Hoek Design office. The 58.5 metre Camper & Nicholsons Marala is also halfway through her painstaking restoration.
TA: We’ve been working hard on securing our forward order book as well and are pleased to report that we have signed a new build 35 metre motor yacht construction project and three winter refits for our construction halls. Although there’s always room for more!
How do you think the superyacht industry will change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?
TA: I think it brought to the fore how truly global and interconnected we all are within the superyacht industry. Here at Pendennis we’ve been working hard to support our valued employees, existing projects and their teams on site, our supplier network and the wider Pendennis global fleet. It has not always been easy but the use of online platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet and Teams has proved to be one effective way of moving projects on without the need for travel or face to face meetings.
What has been the most enjoyable experience during your time as CEO?
MC: Where to start! There’s been so many over the past 30+ years, but if I had to choose a few I would say attending over 20 apprentice graduation evenings to date and knowing that we are making a real difference to these young people’s lives. Another highlight for me was being on the start line in New York to watch Adela and Adix set off on the 1997 Rolex Transatlantic Race and lastly but more recently seeing the beautifully restored Camper and Nicholsons classic Malahne delivered successfully in 2015.
TA: For me I would have to say watching Aquila enter our newly constructed basin to start her award winning refit in 2015, and who can forget when Mike and I picked up three Neptunes in one night at the World Superyacht Awards for Haida 1929, G2 and Vijonara in 2019!
What has been your greatest challenge?
MC: We don’t have challenges here at Pendennis, just opportunities - at least that’s the way we see it. When these opportunities do present themselves our organisation always seems to rise up to successfully to overcome them – it’s in Pendennis’s DNA! I seriously believe that with our long-term strategy over the years of investing in both our people and our infrastructure we are primed as a business to flex and adapt to almost anything.
How do you foresee the company evolving over the next five years?
MC: Moving forward we are obviously focused on securing our future order book, we are keen to promote our capabilities in the 50m + motor yacht market and so will be pushing our 150m dry dock facility, technical capabilities and experience in this area. We are continually looking to improve our offering to clients and so will continue to invest in both our people and infrastructure here in Falmouth, as well as in the Med at our Marina and Technical Service Centre just outside of Barcelona.
TA: As Mike previously mentioned it’s not always smooth sailing, but Pendennis is very good at overcoming situations and coming out stronger as a result and with COVID here to stay until at least spring next year and a Brexit deal still not concluded, it’s likely to be a bumpy start to 2021 globally. But we feel confident that Pendennis is in a really good place to thrive as a business, so bring it on!