charter broker Mark ElliottHot on the heels of yesterday's blog post about FYBA naming Ann Landry its 2009 Charter Broker of the Year, word now comes from International Yacht Collection that Mark Elliott has been named both Sales and Charter Broker of the Year for 2009.

It is the first time a single broker has won both awards, said IYC Vice President Brian Tansey. 

I got hold of Elliott in his office at Isle de Sol Marina on Sint Maarten. He told me by telephone that he thought creativity was the driving factor behind his success during what was one of the most challenging years the yachting industry has seen in at least a decade.

“On the sales end, it’s all been about doing trades, including more big-yacht trades than I’ve ever seen before," Elliott told me. "Nobody wants to part with cash, so I’ve had to be very creative about how the trades work."

One of the trade deals that Elliott helped to organize in 2009 was worth more than $100 million and involved the 183-foot Benetti motoryacht now known as Four Aces within the IYC charter fleet.

"With charter, I think there are more clients for charter right now than there are yacht buyers," Elliott said. "People, again, don’t want to part with a lot of cash. It’s easier in an iffy market to commit to a charter than it is to owning a megayacht.”