Hong Kong-born, three-year DB resident Paul Fortune, the owner of marine brokerage and boat/ yacht sales consultancy AquaBlu Marine, talks shop
Tell us something about your business.
I started AquaBlu Marine in May 2014, after having acquired 30 years of experience in all aspects of marine law and marine insurance, and having been raised on friends’ mega and super yachts. I want to raise the bar: I strongly believe clients can and should expect higher standards from the professionals they rely on.
What is the secret of your success?
Having a 100% understanding of your product and getting to know your clients’ needs and expectations is vital. 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.
Do you have a funny ‘on-the-job’ moment to share?
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!” Nothing like a boat keeper to put you in your place!
Which well-known business person inspires you?
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.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 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.
How do you see your business looking in five years’ time?
We are already being asked by companies in the Far East if we would like to form associations. It’s too early yet, but who knows what the future holds?
Call AquaBlu Marine on 6017 7802, or email [email protected]