Kevin Merrigan

CEO, Northrop & Johnson

Northrop and Johnson Chairman, Kevin Merrigan, has a background as unique and captivating as the yachts we represent. A native of San Diego, California, Kevin has sailed since childhood. After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Kevin found himself briefly landlocked during a short-lived foray in the oil and gas industry. With an itch to get back on the water and a plan to buy a boat, Kevin made a return trip to the west coast that didn’t quite go as expected. He sailed his own 42-foot sailboat to Newport, Rhode Island where he joined Northrop & Johnson in 1987. He quickly became a partner and in 1990, he took over the effort Lauderdale office, eventually becoming the CEO of Northrop and Johnson Holding Company. He is currently CEO of the entire N & J organization and is president of the Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and France offices. He is involved in many industry organizations such as Fort Lauderdale Yacht Brokers Association, (FYBA) and the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA). He is also a member of the Conanicut Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club.


What does it mean to you to be an ISS judge? It means the opportunity to interact with incredibly dedicated knowledgeable people in this fantastic industry. To learn to discover and observe the progress the industry is developing.


What do you like about the ISS Design & Awards Gala? The excitement of the awards and opportunity to connect with the best and the brightest.


How did you get your start in the yachting industry? I went to buy a boat and I decided the yacht broker had a much cooler job than I did in the oil and gas business!


What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment in your career? Growing N &J and working with the top people in the industry. Our team is incredible and it is an honor to work with them.


If you could choose one location for your next travel adventure, where would you go and why? I just summited Kilimanjaro with our son Matthew…that was pretty amazing. My next adventure would be diving with whale sharks in Djibouti.


What is your favorite part of your job? Client satisfaction, team member satisfaction, being on the water. Who has influenced you the most? Joe Bartram was wonderful influence on me.


What is the most effective daily habit you possess? Waking up!


What advice do you have for the next generation? This business is not a marathon, not a sprint! There are incredible highs and very tough lows…it is an all-consuming business, so make sure you enjoy it and practice the Golden Rule.


What do you see are upcoming trends in the industry? Increasing the level of client satisfaction. Yachting is a cottage industry, partially because it is so customized. We continually work to improve our client’s experience and make it as simple an enjoyable as possible.


How do you manage life balance? No such thing


Where are you the happiest? On our boat with my wife Mariette.


What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve gotten?

May, 1994: YOU SHOULD MARRY THIS GIRL! (Thank you Bill)!