LEADERS Hospitality
Daniel Ziriakus, Northrop & Johnson

Daniel Ziriakus

Delivering Extraordinary

Editors’ Note

Daniel Ziriakus entered the marketing world in 2001 with his appointment to Estee Lauder’s marketing team in Munich. He then went on to work for Bridger Conway, a Miami-based global branding agency specializing in creative communications for premium and luxury brands. It was during this period that he was introduced to the yachting industry. Ziriakus then joined Fraser Yachts as head of the U.S. marketing department. In 2010, he became Director of Marketing at Northrop & Johnson (N&J) and led the brand through a global repositioning. He then moved to Monaco to head up the Camper & Nicholsons marketing department. In 2014, he rejoined Northrop & Johnson as Chief Operating Officer. Originally from Germany, Ziriakus is bilingual and has a BS degree in marketing and advertising and an EMBA from the University of Miami.

Company Brief

Since 1949, Northrop & Johnson’s (northropandjohnson.com) professional brokers have been dedicated to doing business with honesty and integrity. As a leading superyacht marketing firm, Northrop & Johnson provides its clients with first-class services, including yacht sales and purchase, charter, charter management, crew services and more. Today, Northrop & Johnson continues to offer an industry-leading sales record, an impressive global charter fleet and a true worldwide reach.

A Mangusta 165-foot superyacht available at Northrop & Johnson

A Mangusta 165-foot superyacht
available at Northrop & Johnson

Will you highlight the history and heritage of Northrop & Johnson and how the business has evolved?

Northrop & Johnson opened its doors in 1949 in New York City when two gentleman, Jim Northrop and George Johnson, began selling yachts to the yachtsmen of Long Island Sound. The great success and honest business practices of these two men provided an exemplary foundation that grew Northrop & Johnson into the most prominent yacht brokerage in the U.S. Additionally, N&J was the first U.S. based yacht brokerage to open offices overseas in the early 1970s. However, most of the business was U.S.-based until the 2010s when N&J again began focusing on a more global approach. Since 2010, N&J has expanded its reach and is still the largest U.S.-headquartered superyacht brokerage firm in the market and is the fastest-growing superyacht firm in Europe. In 2020, N&J was acquired by MarineMax, the world’s largest boat retailer, which enhances the company’s reach into the largest yacht segment. While the firm in its earlier years was focused predominantly on yachts sales, N&J now offers a full suite of services from charter, management, crewing and marketing of the world’s most prestigious superyachts and is dedicated to providing nothing but extraordinary for our clients.

Additionally, Northrop & Johnson boasts one of the largest in-house marketing teams in the industry. As such, we continuously set the bar for demand generation, produce the highest number of leads and are the most technologically evolved and forward-thinking firm in the industry. While other brokerage houses focus on yachts, we focus on marketing yachts and using technology to build the most advanced yacht marketing platform for our clients and owners.

Party Girl

Party Girl, a 205-foot Icon superyacht
for charter with two of its water toys

How do you describe the Northrop & Johnson difference and what makes the company an industry leader?

Northrop & Johnson is different from other brokerages because of our commitment to being extraordinary in every facet of our business, from our use of technology to drive demand in an industry that is very “old-school” in many ways, to our global reach and strategic office locations, to our team-like mentality. Many brokers operate with a “lone wolf” mentality, while at Northrop & Johnson, we understand that our power and strength comes from our exceptional team members. We are less like a company and more like a family, taking care of our broker team members and clients and their families, too. We strive to provide extraordinary to everyone we encounter and work with.

Northrop & Johnson leads the industry through our technological prowess and marketing acumen. We have created platforms and programs that allow our brokers access to the entire global fleet with the push of a button. We are constantly revamping our tools and offerings to push the envelope. The technological tools allow us to sell yachts faster and at the best price, allow us to find the ideal yachts for clients looking to purchase, and provide the entire global charter fleet to our charter clients. Our forward-thinking marketing pushes the boundaries. Rather than focusing on the yacht itself, we focus on the experience and how we can provide clients with an extraordinary experience unlike anything they’ve had before.

Additionally, Northrop & Johnson’s brokers are leaders within the industry’s most prominent yachting associations. From board members to presidents, our brokers are dedicated to leading the industry and our industry colleagues to evolve and change for the better.

Northrop & Johnson is also now more than ever focused on sustainability. One of our most important passion projects is moving toward a sustainable business model. We understand that there is no yachting without the ocean and so we actively are making changes for ocean conservation and environmental consciousness.

Roma, a 203-foot Viareggio superyacht for charter

How do you describe the Northrop & Johnson experience?

When clients choose extraordinary by choosing Northrop & Johnson, extraordinary is exactly what they receive. From the first contact, clients receive bespoke service. Our brokers are dedicated to providing personalization and attention to detail. Because of this exemplary way of doing business, Northrop & Johnson enjoys about 85 percent repeat business. We’ve sold as many as 20+ yachts over the years for some clients, and others have chartered for years with us.

In addition to a steadfast devotion to clients, our brokers are the most knowledgeable in the industry, many having first-hand experience working aboard yachts as crewmembers and others working in the industry for decades. This type of insight allows our brokers to provide matchless information and education to our clients to ensure they feel confident, comfortable and empowered when making decisions with regard to yachting.

Furthermore, Northrop & Johnson has partnered with strategic players in various luxury sectors, positioning ourselves as not only a luxury superyacht firm, but also as luxury lifestyle ambassadors. Through our partnerships with NetJets, Northern Trust, Rolls-Royce – just to name a few – we can provide our clients with services they may not otherwise have access to, enhancing their yachting experiences.

Northrop & Johnson is also integrated with high-end luxury concierge travel services which allows us to curate high-end, land-based experiences that up the ante of yacht charters for our clients. From private dinners in Tuscan villas with opera singers to VIP access to the world’s most elite events, like the Monaco Grand Prix, to one-on-one lunches provided by the world’s culinary experts, Northrop & Johnson delivers extraordinary to our clients at all times.

How did Northrop & Johnson adapt its business to address the challenges caused by the global pandemic?

Because of Northrop & Johnson’s integral reliance on technology since 2014, we luckily didn’t have to adapt to challenges that were poised by the global pandemic. The entire operation and mission of our company changed through our use of technology. When the pandemic hit, it underlined the benefit of our strategy and mission and then amplified our timeline by five. We are now years ahead of schedule compared to our original timelines and also are leaps and bounds ahead of other brokerages that were stagnated by the pandemic.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for growth for Northrop & Johnson?

First, Northrop & Johnson is currently the fastest-growing yacht brokerage in Europe. We fully entered the market five years ago and have made exceptional headway and are continuing our efforts. We also have been in the Asia-Pacific region since 2011 and are actively working to strengthen current operations and grow our teams in this area.

What are your priorities for Northrop & Johnson as you look to the future?

The main priority for Northrop & Johnson is to create extraordinary experiences for our clients and staff. We will continue to evolve and push the boundaries of our marketing and technological offerings to continue to support that priority. We also will continue to leverage our exceptional partnerships to further our goals. We are dedicated to creating extraordinary luxury yachting and lifestyle experiences for our clients now and always.