SA Yard Under New Ownership: Southern Wind

Genoa-based Southern Wind shipyard has finalised a new ownership structure following the sudden death of founder Willy Persico.

The new owners include a trio of top shipyard management and a supporting group of three ‘owner shareholders’,  the company confirmed in a statement issued this week.

Among the new owners is Alberto Del Cinque, long-serving manager of the company’s Cape Town facility.  Del Cinque began working at Pegaso, the company’s sales and marketing arm, in 1994 then became General Affair Manager in Southern Wind in 2000.

SWS general manager Marco Alberti and Pegaso sales manager Andrea Michell also form part of the new ownership team.

“Southern Wind will now be run by the tightly knit team of his trusted SWS managers, who are also shareholders, with the fundamental backing and support of three SWS owners,” the company said in their statement. “Willy Persico’s untimely death caught his family, friends, partners and employees by surprise, but SWS’s founder and CEO left the shipyard well prepared for the future.”

“Thanks to his diligent mind, his passion, commitment and foresight, Persico charted the route for a smooth transition of the shipyard by preparing the already existing management team for new responsibilities and selecting partners and shareholders who could guarantee the successful continuation of the shipyard that he was so devoted to,” the statement said.

In an interview shortly before his death Persico himself outlined his plans for the company’s future: “The shipyard, during its 25 years of activity, has invested significant resources in the selection and growth of management to create a strong, skilled and harmonious team which is now bearing fruit,” Persico said. “Companies are made by people; at the Shipyard in Cape Town as well as at the offices of Pegaso in Genoa, I have my ‘pillars’ and I can count on their experience and advice from design to building and from marketing to customer care. In the future my team of managers will become the leader of the company to continue my way to build boats, or, maybe, their way to build boats,” he said.

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