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Fishing for deals on a yacht

Businesspeople board luxury ship to meet leaders, negotiate agreements and enjoy the harbor sunset.

May 18, 2007|By Kelly Strodl

Ron Liden, the founder of Liden Financial in Irvine, makes a lot of business deals, but to him there's nothing like negotiating on a yacht.

So he can hardly wait for May and September when the twice-yearly Luxury Yacht Business Mixer and Cruise sets sail.

Liden said he's made many of his most prominent deals during the event, which has brought hundreds of industry leaders together to talk business and enjoy the view on a 108-foot-long yacht for the last five years.

On Tuesday the ship sets out again from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with more than 350 people representing businesses from San Diego to Los Angeles. Business cards will change hands, and deals could be made, all while tooling around the harbor in the $6 million yacht.

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"I get e-mails from people I met there all the time. We play tennis and go to dinners with a lot of the people we met on the boat," Liden said. "It's a great chance to interact with people from a lot of different walks of life," Liden said.

Liden recalled how he once swung a major international deal involving a business in India while on the yacht.

"If you want a whale you've got to have the right line to bring them in," Liden said, referring to how the casual environment helps negotiations.

The 3-and-half-hour boat ride, organized by the Relationship Building Network, gives established and rookie business leaders a chance to "just cruise the harbor and watch the sunset," while making that valuable business connection, Relationship Building Network founder Yosef Shafiee said.

Expect some surprises at the mixer, Shafiee said. Several business leaders associated with "Desperate Housewives" are expected to attend.

Bring plenty of business cards and a hearty appetite as 10 Orange County restaurants will supply a variety of food, including Fox Sports Grill, Dave and Busters, King's Fish House and Lucky Strike.

Tickets are $65, $55 for Relationship Building Network members. Tickets are available online or at the door. Board the Endeavor Yacht at 2901 West Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

For more information call (949) 830-5776 or visit www.rbninfo.com.


  • KELLY STRODL may be reached at (714) 966-4623 or at kelly.strodl@latimes.com.

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