P1 People Moves: Janus Kamradt
We speak to Janus Kamradt as he moves from Hangar 8 to join aircraft management company Executive Jet Management Europe as Regional Vice President.
Q. How did you get into the industry?
The honest answer is that it happened slightly by coincidence. I have worked most of my career in the UHNW space, spending a long time in private equity with a strong focus on the luxury goods industry. I have served and still serve as a board member and an advisor to private banks and companies operating in the UHNW and luxury space and it was through one of these relationships that I was introduced to the world of business aviation.
In 2008 the money markets were beginning to dry up and I was seeing myself spending more time getting out of contracts instead of into new ones.
Prestige projects and acquisitions of trophy assets, which I had been involved in, were no longer being looked at and it was clear that we were facing an economic downturn. As a result, I saw myself spending more time on my advisory roles in luxury automotive and yachting and it was through here that I was asked to look at a Sales Director role in business aviation.
The attraction at the time was a combination of things; on the one hand I was hugely fascinated with the product but also I was already very well tied in with the target audience, advisors as well as the end users. The barrier to entry for me was low and it was a fantastic opportunity coming to me at the right time. Eight years later and I am glad I decided to go in this direction.
Q. What services does EJM offer?
Joining EJM Europe was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, the same way a footballer would not turn down an opportunity to play for the one of biggest clubs in Europe. Executive Jet Management Europe launched only two years ago but is part of the biggest business aviation group on the planet; NetJets Inc.
Executive Jet Management on its own is already the global leader in Aircraft Management and with its ties to NetJets the group makes up the 3rd largest commercial fleet in the world, only topped by Delta and United Airlines. For a commercial aviation professional like myself being invited to join the team here made a lot of sense and it didn’t take me long to accept.
EJM has been in business for 50 years and has an impeccable track record as an operator that is admired and respected by our colleagues in the industry. Launched in 2013 EJM Europe offers aircraft management, charter and leasing and we have launched in Europe with immense pedigree already in the bank. As an operator we remain the global leader on Citation, Embraer, Dassault Falcon, Bombardier and Gulfstream products. Many aircraft owners are still now aware that EJM and NetJets aircraft management aircraft services are now available in Europe however we are excited to see this change as we grow the business this side of the Atlantic.
Q. What does your day-to-day job involve?
Day to day is a bit of a messy routine as I am in and out of the office for meetings. I am lucky to be based in central London, which means that I am close to my clients and I see a lot more of them now than I used to. Considering that I have only recently moved to EJM Europe I am concentrating my efforts on the UK market for now. Aircraft Management in particular is a major part of my responsibilities and occupies 90 per cent of my time. Other than that, the ambition is to grow the EJM brand and presence in Europe over the coming 12-24 months.
Q. How competitive are the jobs in your line of work?
Oh, very competitive, I think. Because of the industry and client pool being quite small and the fact that we compete in a very densely populated, competitive landscape, it is clear that commercial professionals, sales and marketing directors in particular, need to know what they are doing. My professional network is a bit wider than just business aviation due to my ties to private banking, yachting and luxury goods, and I am fortunate to know a lot of really strong people working in and around our industry. Considering this fairly large pool of senior professionals, I would say there are probably 10 or 15 guys in Europe who can do what I do and I am very happy to say that they are either friends or very good contacts of mine.
Q. The aviation market has been unpredictable in recent years – what are your thoughts on how it might develop?
It seems we are coming in to better times although there is still some evidence that we are not done feeling the results of world politics and economic instability, such as with Russian sanctions and the Chinese market turmoil. Overall I am positive about the future.
Business aviation will suffer when the world economy suffers and flourish when times are good. Wealth hubs around the world become business aviation hubs and this is the trend we will always be subject to. If I am to give advice that would be to look at emerging aviation markets like Africa where business aviation is not only a necessity for business to happen but also an industry which is hugely under developed.