For the first time in its 133-year history, Royal Huisman no longer has a Huisman family member involved in operations. Following nearly four decades at the shipyard, Alice Huisman (pictured) has ceded all responsibilities to the majority shareholder, Royal Doeksen. Royal Doeksen now owns all shares as well.
For the past two years, Alice Huisman advised the board of directors about new builds and refits. She also advised Royal Doeksen about Royal Huisman’s sister company, the mast and gear manufacturer Rondal. From 2004 to 2015, Alice Huisman was managing director of Royal Huisman. Royal Doeksen acquired a stake in the shipyard in 2014. Back then, Alice Huisman explained that there was no family heir with the right experience.
In a statement, Alice Huisman says, “Every Huisman generation since 1884 has always sought to act in the best interests of the yard. Those interests have to be reflected in giving the yard access to new capital… It is time for us, as a family, to stand aside. In doing so, we naturally take pleasure in leaving the yard with a healthy order book and hard-fought reputation.”
Jan Willem Doeksen, CEO of Royal Doeksen, says it’s been “a great privilege” to work with her through the transition. “Alice has become an icon in the superyacht industry, and is a great representation of everything that makes family businesses special,” he comments. Roemer Boogaard, CEO of Royal Huisman (pictured), adds, “It’s an impressive achievement of Alice to steer the company through the challenging economies of the past years.”
Departing the family business does not come without emotion, of course. Alice Huisman says, “Thirty-nine years of living and breathing all things yachting has given me the good fortune to enjoy many wonderful friendships with clients and colleagues alike.” She adds that she and her family are thankful for the loyalty of the craftspeople. Furthermore, they are grateful to clients “for their trust and the opportunity to build some exciting and challenging projects together.”