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Centtrip welcomes back a familiar face as its new Director of Marine

Ben Thorne returns to Centtrip as Director of Marine, after four years. Here he tells us what attracted him back, what he sees changed and where he sees superyachts and Centtrip sailing into the future.

Hi Ben, welcome back. What excites you about returning to Centtrip?

It’s the people and the opportunity! When I met Jane [Turner, CEO] and the rest of the team, I was really excited. There are many familiar faces, but a lot of new talent, too. I feel there’s an opportunity – and the ability – to build something quite special. I think what we have already is quite impressive, but what we create in the future could be amazing. I wanted to be a part of that.

Where do you see opportunities for Centtrip to grow?

There are so many!

Payroll and yacht operations is one example. Several of our longstanding clients who  use Centtrip for its card and platform, sometimes just for charter operations, are now also using us to handle payroll, vessels’ operational expenses and the large cashflows relating to refits.

We’re finding family offices approach us to extend into other areas, from supporting their yacht to helping manage real estate or private aviation.

America is another huge opportunity because often US-based clients don’t appreciate the significant savings they can make by using a specialist like Centtrip, rather than their US bank.

We can build on all of those opportunities from our existing base of marine clients.

Why do you think clients choose Centtrip, today?

There are three reasons. Firstly, the functionality of the Centtrip platform: the multi-currency card and account, the foreign exchange and payments. Those are designed to meet the unique needs of our clients – internationally mobile and often high-spending. Centtrip is not for everyone and our clients appreciate that.

Secondly, people value the level of service they get from Centtrip. We pride ourselves on being responsive to their often urgent needs.

And thirdly, it’s the knowledge within the business. We understand the sectors we serve and their unique situations.

I think one of the issues in the superyacht world is that companies will try and enter the market because they see the glitz but not the grind. What clients want is a business that’s invested in the sector. And that’s Centtrip. We’ve been supporting the sector for 10 years now and we’re continually learning more, taking feedback, making the service better.

Are there specific challenges in the superyacht sector today where Centtrip can help?

The superyacht sector is very resilient, but we always need to be mindful of global issues. One big area where Centtrip can help is in managing the effects of economic turmoil as we’ve seen in recent years with Covid, the war in Ukraine and global economic pressures.

We can help clients manage currency risk and fluctuations over the three to four year period of a build or even a major refit.

You’ll be in Monaco for the Yacht Show and then Fort Lauderdale for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS). What are you most looking forward to?

In the four years I’ve been away, the team has done a fantastic job of increasing and reinforcing Centtrip’s position in the superyacht world.

What makes Monaco and FLIBS so amazing is the human interaction. The most important thing in this business is meeting people face to face and these are the places where I can guarantee everyone will be around. So, I’m excited about getting out and meeting people. Even if it’s just for five or ten minutes, we can meet 50 different people and hear what they have to say. What issues are they having? How can we make that easier and how can we make Centtrip better?

It’s an opportunity to say “We’re here and we care about the industry.”

You have a new job and a couple of big international shows coming up, but what do you do when you have a little spare time?

Well, I have two daughters who fill my time and they’re a lot of fun. If I have any time left after that, my passion is sport. My degree is in Sports Studies with Business – my mother called it the Jerry Maguire degree – because, when I left school, I wanted to be a sports agent. But I’ve always been interested in how money works and how it moves, so I’ve made my career in payments and fintech and wealth management and superyachts.

Thanks, Ben. Thank you for your time and welcome (back) to the team.

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