If it’s been said once, it’s been said a thousand times, by yacht builders, brokers, and even me: A yacht is only as good as her crew. As much as a skilled crew is worth its weight in gold, however, few, if any, firms take the time to educate these mostly young men and women in the importance of planning their financial futures.
Moore Stephens Yachting, which has been advising yacht owners on financial matters relating to registration and ownership for nearly two decades, is expanding its services to help crewmembers. Specifically, it is now offering advice on tax preparation, pensions, and offshore bank accounts. It will additionally provide help with savings and retirement plans as well as life, medical, disability, and travel insurance.
According to the company, “expatriate workers”–a description which includes yacht crew–have had some financial products and providers to choose from, but the plans were often expensive and worse, lacked both investment direction and flexibility. Moore Stephens intends to fill in these needs. Steve Hawkins (above), who is heading the yacht-crew service and has been overseeing Moore Stephens’ financial-services division, puts it this way: “Most yacht crew lack a permanent country of residence, which means their banking and financial affairs often can remain in a tax-beneficial location. We see our task to be helping individual crewmembers take advantage of that while carefully planning for the future.”
In addition, because the yachting business is an international one, it can be confusing when it comes to taxes. Some crewmembers may mistakenly believe that they don’t owe anything on their wages because they earn some, say, in France one month, Italy in another, and a few Caribbean islands during yet other parts of the year. Moore Stephens intends to educate them so they can avoid run-ins with the authorities.
And even though no one likes to think about it, crewmembers can become seriously ill or injured while on the job and may need to return home for treatment. Moore Stephens will review their insurance plans to ensure they’re covered for the worst-case scenario.
That’s peace of mind for owners and crew alike.