Paul Fortune: Aquablu Marine
- Written by arounddb
Born and bred in Hong Kong, I’ve lived in Discovery Bay for the past three years.
I opened marine brokerage and boat/ yacht sales consultancy AquaBlu Marine in May 2014. As well as having been raised on friends’ mega and super yachts, I’ve 30 years of experience in marine law and marine insurance. I want to raise the bar: I strongly believe clients can and should expect higher standards from the professionals they rely on.
To me the secret of making a success of a business is having a 100% understanding of your product, and getting to know your clients’ needs and expectations. This leads to recommendations from satisfied clients, and nothing beats that. The contact network I’ve built up throughout the shipping/ boating world, together with government departments, is also invaluable.
We are already being asked by companies in the Far East if we would like to form associations, which I find very gratifying.
In business, I am inspired by Richard Branson. He’s a gifted and unconventional maverick, who is not afraid to go with his gut feeling and follow whatever interests him. He is prepared to take calculated risks. I’ve been a fan since he started Virgin Records out of a tiny shop in Cardiff, Wales.
As for myself, I’m very easy-going in my private life but extremely competitive in my business life. The latter comes from my training as a lawyer in London and Hong Kong. The day I joined my London firm, there were 200 associate solicitors; seven years later when I made partner, there were only two of us left. So I guess I have good survival skills!
I am passionate about my family, my flat-coated retriever, Formula One racing, Blues music, gardening and decorating. Interestingly enough, it’s my boat keeper who keeps me in my place. When I first bought a boat and she was at her fixed berth, I kept complaining that she was moving too much, even in light winds. After a few weeks, my boat keeper finally found the courage to tell me: “It’s because you’re on a boat, sir!” That set me straight!