SYM is an extraordinary team united by a passion for yachting. It is an important point, one that is often overlooked – yachting is supposed to be fun. At SYM, our primary motivation is to deliver that enjoyment for our clients.
Speaking more than 12 languages, we have personnel at the helm who possess unrivalled industry experience as commercial captains, crew and industry executives – in fact, most of the team has worked onboard yachts in one form or another in the past.
Since leaving the UK over 20 years ago to pursue a life on the ocean wave and to ski some of the best mountains in the world, I have been lucky enough to tick these boxes and a few more along the way.
The experiences gained throughout this journey have been the cornerstone for the creation of SYM. It is the reason why the small business I started in 2007 has continued to grow steadily throughout the last nine years, evolving into the established company that it is today.
My proudest moment - Captain for HM Queen.
My scariest moment - coming under attack by Pirates off Somalia.
At SYM we don't want to be the biggest, but we relentlessly strive to be the best.
As the Blur song of the previous year advised, I ‘headed down to Greece’ in 1995, hoping life had more to offer than a southern coastal town in England.
Five years later, having lived, worked and travelled in Greece, Thailand, Australia & Switzerland, I arrived in Italy and joined a yacht. I spent seven incredible years as crew travelling the Mediterranean, USA & Caribbean. When I arrived back into Cannes, I decided to embark on a shore based life nearby and discovered that Ben was hiring at SYM.
I have now been with the company for seven years and consider myself fortunate to be part of a fantastic team working from a stunning new office, where no two days are the same.
As Compliance & Special Projects Manager at SYM, Linda takes care of all legal, insurance, flag state and classification societies related works in a varied and challenging role. In addition to this, she leads on multiple projects, including large-scale refits and periodic class & flag surveys.
Linda joined the SYM team in 2015, following 8 years with the Sunseeker London Group, where she gained valuable experience in aftersales and the wider yachting industry in both Central London and France. She brings extensive legal and contractual knowledge to the company, with a Diploma in Maritime Law. A fluent English, French, Latvian and Russian speaker, Linda is an absolute asset to the team.
Hardworking and vivacious, Linda is fascinated by the constant development of the Superyacht Industry – with over 10 years of experience in yachting, she’s still learning everyday.
A Côtes de Provence connoisseur, Linda loves nothing more than a day on the water with friends and a (small) glass of rosé...
Don’t be fooled by her tough Soviet exterior, word has it that she’s actually quite nice.
Having travelled extensively around Europe as a child, I realised greater adventures were to be had abroad than back at home in England.
Working in London as a tour operator allowed me to continue to travelling, and when an opportunity came to move to Provence in 1992 I took it.
I have since worked in France as an accountant in many different environments such as: luxury cars, dressage horses, vineyards and olive oil.
I then heard by chance of an opportunity working with luxury yachts at SYM.
When I met with Ben and his team they were all equally fascinating and rich with experiences from all around the world. I knew it was the right fit and because our clients and crew are from all corners of the world too; I continue to get to travel albeit in a slightly different way.
After spending a couple of seasons in the Mediterranean, Felicia and her partner Daniel Higlett joined SYM in 2014. Whilst Daniel joined the fleet as a Captain, Felicia was interested by the management side of the business, and came onboard to assist Damon in the SYM Finance Department.
Felicia is currently studying International Business with Finance and Management. At present, she’s finalising her degree in Sydney, Australia, where she’s extending SYM’s international business hours!
One day she'll probably migrate ‘Down Under’ to enjoy the never-ending yachting and beach seasons, but until then, she’s looking forward to returning to the SYM office in Golfe Juan by early 2017.
Nigel started his Engineering career as a motor mechanic, running a successful garage in Spain for a number of years.
In 2005 Nigel moved into the world of yachting, working as Chief Engineer onboard a number of superyachts. He spent 6 years cruising throughout the Mediterranean and even further afield, with several Atlantic crossings under his belt.
With his extensive engineering experience, Nigel joined SYM Superyacht Management as Technical Support Engineer 6 years ago. He and Ben grew up across the road from one another and have remained firm friends ever since.
Nigel is a dedicated father of 4 young children. When he’s not in the depths of an Engine Room, he’s taking part in any watersports he can.
Ben and Joseph have been friends and colleagues for over 15 years.
Joseph began his yachting career in 1997, working as Lead Deckhand onboard a variety of superyachts, including the 65 metre Feadship “Cedar Sea”, 61 metre “Il Vagabondo” and a 25 metre Ferretti. It was onboard the Ferretti that Joseph first worked with Captain Ben Young, who employed him as Deckhand for 4 years.
Continually amazed at Joseph’s drive and by the pride that he took in his work, Ben got in touch with Joseph as soon as a permanent position came up at SYM in 2011.
Hard working, conscientious and always going the extra mile to ensure the job is done properly, Joseph is an asset to the SYM Deck Department.
When he’s not maintaining the SYM fleet, Joseph is a keen basketball player, regularly shooting hoops in the South of France.
Arial brings extensive superyacht experience to SYM, having worked and lived onboard yachts for 14 years before joining our team in 2012.
As Deckhand and Steward onboard some of the finest superyachts in the world, from the 75 metre Amels “Montkaj” to 71 metre Lürssen “The One” to 61 metre “Il Vagabondo” and 57 metre “Bad Girl”, Arial has cruised all over the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the USA.
Coming from a superyacht background where high standards are absolutely paramount, Arial carries out works with the utmost quality and precision, whilst his professionalism and conscientiousness is vital to the SYM team.
When he’s not maintaining the SYM fleet, Arial can often be found with a microphone or instrument in hand, being a keen singer, karaoke enthusiast and guitar player!
I spent 15 years on superyachts as crew in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. It was a privilege to visit incredible places and meet amazing crew, many of whom have become friends for life. We worked hard and played hard and every day was an adventure.
I moved ashore to have a family and co-founded a crew recruitment business that has evolved over the years into SYM Crew. I know what it takes to be the best in an industry that demands the highest standards and it is now my privilege to find the right crew for an owner, so they can rest assured their yacht and guests get the first class treatment they deserve.
Loreta joined SYM Superyacht Management as an intern in 2015, having left her native Romania to start a new adventure in France.
Quickly learning the ropes and adapting to life on the Côte d’Azur, it wasn’t long until she joined SYM full-time as SYM Crew and Assistant to the Yacht Manager.
Loreta regularly interviews potential crew, follows up on employee references and manages payroll for the fleet. Working in a demanding superyacht environment, she enjoys the varied challenges of the office and being part of such a close knit and friendly team. As a speaker of 4 languages – she is an asset to our multi-lingual company.
In her spare time, Loreta is currently studying for a degree in Law & Administrative Sciences and is expected to graduate in 2018.
The self-confessed SYM ‘Selfie Queen’, Loreta is also a born performer. She loves singing and acting, and has appeared on the X Factor, M6 France and regularly stars as a lead actress at the first English Theatre in the South of France.