Searching for the perfect executive team – particularly in a market as niche as luxury yachts – is never easy. So when Alejandro Hahn took over as European managing director at Dahlgren Duck, sourcing and delivering bespoke homeware supplies for yachts, private jets and residences, he knew exactly where to turn.

Emma Robinson had headhunted Alejandro for a previous role; therefore, when he needed advice on putting together his own team, Emma’s company Red Diamond Executive Headhunters was his first port of call.

Alejandro joined the company in September 2019 after several years as sales director at Linley, a retail, bespoke and fitted cabinetry business. Prior to that, Emma had placed him in a role in the Middle East, where he specialised in the sale of custom-made luxury furniture.

Alejandro explained that while some leadership qualities remained the same regardless of the role, niche businesses required a deep level of specialist knowledge.

“We work with high end interior designers, architects, yacht designers and brokers – consequently it’s a very small industry. It’s an uber-luxurious market, accessorising multi-million pound yachts and private jets, and we need to work very closely with stakeholders such as interior designers and suppliers.

“It’s vital that people know the calibre of brands that you will be using in the schemes, whether that’s china, linen or cutlery.

“When you are looking for a specific profile, I could spend hours trawling LinkedIn but it makes perfect sense to bring in someone who understands exactly what I need.

“From a personal perspective, Red Diamond placing me into the role I had in the Middle East was a game-changer. In my current position, time is my most precious commodity. To be able to call on the expertise of Emma, who knows the industry inside out and understands perfectly what I need, is ideal.”

Alejandro said one of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic involved the process of providing samples of goods to customers. “It’s a very tactile industry,” he said. “People want to feel the quality of the linen or the cutlery for themselves,” he said.

“Sure, you can send examples by post but if you’re not with the client to explain the details to them, the process loses something. But that’s the way it is at the moment.”

Emma added: “We’re only too happy to help Alejandro put together his team. It is a niche market but happily the appetite for uber luxury is still very healthy.”

Research shows that uber-luxury markets such as the superyacht industry may escape the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed. Swiss bank UBS found that 77% of the richest families – with an average fortune of £1.25bn – had seen investment portfolios perform above or in line with targets.

Red Diamond Executive Headhunters is headquartered in Huddersfield with a satellite office in the Middle East. With clients throughout a range of industries, the business has placed candidates in global leadership roles.

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