Liz Cox of Cecil Wright & Partners
Liz Cox started her career in the superyacht industry like many others, she fell in love with the French Riviera and yachting. The rest, as they say, is history. However, her story is a bit different because, instead of sailing away as part of a yacht crew that many associate with the excitement and adventure of the sterotypical “yachting life,” she’s risen to become a partner at the prestigious yacht brokerage firm of Cecil Wright & Partners.
Before becoming a partner at Cecil Wright & Partners she’d held many roles within the yachting industry over the last 20 years. But since she’s been able to break into the C-suite in an industry where most of the leaders are men, I can’t think of a better way celebrate International Women’s Day than sharing a small slice of her story here.
BS: It’s no secret that the yachting industry (like many others) has many more men than women in the C-suite. Has that reality impacted you and your career? If so, how?
LC: It has been extremely frustrating at times, both emotionally and financially. Attending meetings and it being assumed that you are there to take minutes rather than represent a client. Or being looked over by a colleague as it is assumed your male counterpart would automatically know more—when he didn’t! Or being told I couldn’t progress any further as I didn’t have a “sea-beard!” On reflection, it has fueled me to work harder and now find myself lucky to be working with Chris and the team at Cecil Wright where we are all equals and specialists in our areas.
BS: What advice would you share with other women who might aspire to lead a company in the superyacht industry (or any industry for that matter)? What lessons have you learned that might help others?
LC: As an industry, I think there is much more awareness now than there was 20 years ago although I would say still more action is needed. If there was one piece of wisdom I could pass on, it would be to never give up, but believe in yourself and keep going.
BS: What’s the best thing about your job?
LC: Working as a team – whether to bring a sale to completion, book a superyacht charter or project manage a completely new build. It’s working with people you respect and who respect you.
BS: What’s been the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with during the Covid19 pandemic?
LC: Legal paperwork and trying to deal with all the uncertainty at the beginning of 2020! No-one within the industry had ever experienced anything like this before, so for us personally, it was about reacting sensibly and trying to find solutions which all parties would be happy with.
BS: The popularity of yachting (charter, ownership etc.) seems to be growing. Is this true? If so, why is that? Has the pandemic shown people (who may not have been interested otherwise) just how special escaping onboard a yacht can be?
LC: I think living through the pandemic has given everyone time to reflect on where they are and what they would like to do once we are able to move on. For some, it has been extremely rewarding to spend so much time with family that they wish to maintain that going forward, and what better than to have a holiday with your loved ones, than on a yacht. And once onboard, you have peace of mind that you are in a safe and beautiful environment.
Arience at night
BS: Where’s your favorite place to escape to on a yacht?
LC: For me and my family, it’s always the Maldives. The idyllic white beaches with turquoise water, the sunrises and sunsets, and spending the days diving to see the Manta Rays, the Whale Sharks, turtles, dolphins and just an array of sea life and corals.
BS: When you look at your career up to this point, what are you most proud of?
LC: Being asked to become a partner at Cecil Wright & Partners was incredible and proof that hard work and perseverance does bring it rewards. Also having been involved in our last new build SHERPA from the initial design stage, all the way through to delivery and knowing that she was an exceptional, one-of-a kind yacht that her owner adores.
Sherpa is a new build that was managed by Liz Cox of Cecil Wright & Partners
BS: What’s next for you?
LC: It feels like the sky is the limit! Keep learning and keep improving, whilst continuing to offer the best possible service we can to our clients. And of course, looking forward to being to board a plane again and get back to travelling and exploring.
Aren’t we all!
Watch this space.
During my previous life as an editor at several American yachting magazines, I was lucky enough to sail thousands of offshore miles on a wide variety of boats. My job as