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Thursday, 29 November 2012

#WIA: some initial thoughts on launch of the Wine Investment Association


The Wine Investment Association

The four founder members: L-R; Adrian Lenagan (Provenance Fine Wines Ltd),
David Jackson (Albany Portfolio Management Ltd), Hugo Rose MW (Culver Street Ltd), Peter Shakeshaft (Vin-X Ltd)


I have posted my initial reaction to the launch of the WIA on Jim's Loire here.


'The Wine Investment Association is a welcome development, especially if the current proposals are, as we were told, a start and not the finished article. The chief proposal seeks to ensure that investors receive their wine and have good, solid title to it but very unfortunately the WIA fails to ban its members from cold calling. 

If the WIA is to succeed it has to offer credible and robust protection to investors and enjoy broad support amongst the fine wine sector.'  

30 comments:

  1. Before even considering the credibility of the other three founders, the very fact that Peter Shakeshaft has a hand in this means I for one will have absolutely nothing to do with any wine trader who signs up for this association. If any of its future members ever dares to cold-call me, I will be billing them for my time. If they do not pay up, I will pursue them through the small claims court.

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  2. Totally agree with the last post.

    Why would Adrian Lenegan of Provenance Fine Wines ever want to associate himself with two of the other founding members of this so called Wine Invesment Association.

    Particularly with their colorful backgrounds and business dealings with other private investors over the years.

    1.Peter Shakescraft - Shakeshaft was CEO of Wills & Co Financial Group plc, the unregulated holding company for Wills & Co Stockbrokers Ltd. Wills & Co Ltd was described by Tony Hetherington in The Mail on Sunday (6.11.2011) thus: ‘Wills & Co were as dodgy as they come.’

    2.Jackson was the general manager of Goldman Williams Ltd (a wine investment company closed in the public interest January 2002). He was then a founder and director of Bordelais & Dutch (another wine investment company closed in the public interest in January 2003). In 2005 he was working for Stephen Cleeve's European Land Sales Partnership - a land banking scam.

    Although some regulation in this industry would be welcome, surely it has to be via a completely independent body.

    I would certainly steer well away from a couple of these firms. Particularly with their previous track record.

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    1. Thanks anon. I should point out that the founders do not control either the audit, which will be carried out by Mazars, nor the Independent Adjudication Panel. I don't know, however, what control the founders have over changes to the proposed code of conduct.

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  3. Wine Investment Asociation29 November 2012 13:58

    Dear John Ladd and Anon, thank you for your comments. We would encourage you to read the full content of our proposals and would welcome any further comments by way of the consultation process which was launched yesterday. This is open to all interested parties, whether trade, ancillary service providers or indeed investors themselves.

    You can request copies of the consultation documents via enquiries@wineinvestmentassociation.org.

    Hugo Rose mw
    Chairman

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    1. Thank you Hugo. Like you I would hope that the proposals receive as many comments as possible from a wide range of interested parties. I think it is a mistake that the proposals, including the Code of Conduct, are not freely available on the WIA site. This would help to make the process more transparent and would reflect best practice.

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  4. Edited comment from anon:

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "#WIA: some initial thoughts on launch of the Wine ...":

    Listen sounds to me as if they are trying to form a cartel especially in my opinion the ••••• characters, Peter Shakeshaft and Jackson..........

    Dear Jim do not be naive this is a self interest group!!!!!!!!! they do not really care as there track record proves it from a historical perspective

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    1. Anon, While I understand your concerns, I believe I reported accurately that the audit and the complaints procedure will be independent. To suggest that the audit is not going to be independent would suggest connvivance on the part of Mazars, a reputable accountancy company. I do not believe this to be the case and see no reason why the audit will not be conducted properly and professionally.

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    2. Also, when are the FSA going to see En Primeur as a collective investment scheme? It brought the land banking scammers to their knees and would work equally well for this mob. Is it because Berry Bros and Farr are at it? As far as I can tell if 2 or more people have an interest in a huge barrel of wine with a view to making more money than they put in, then that's a collective investment scheme yes? Go get em Jim, and loved the acceptance speech by the way, and the shirt!

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    3. By the way London Wine Shop have a 200k shortfall on their purchases and Capital Vintners are in an even worse state. Ask them nicely and they might also go voluntarily, or at least allow you, under the companies act, to visit their premises with an auditor to diss prove this for the benefit of many of your readers who, like me, are clients of these imbeciles that pretend to be businessmen.

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    4. Anon. Thank you. You may well be right that where en primeur is being sold as 'an investment' then it qualifies as a collective investment for the time that the wine is in barrel or vat.

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    5. If the London Wine Shop and Capital Vintners can show that the comment above is incorrect, it will be removed.

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    6. Anon. Could you email me on budmac@btinternet.com please?

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  5. Given that cartels are of questionable legality it would seem foolish to announce the start of one in such a formal fashion don't you think?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel#European_Union

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  6. Anon. You would be right if this was a cartel but WIA is not attempting to fix the price of wine. Also they would I assume point to the exemptions in para 3 of the Wikipedia entry.

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  7. i simply mean to point to a rather large hole in the prior comment, not to suggest that the WIA is a cartel arrangement!

    Anyhow, while it might be preferable for FSA regulation or something lead by the WSTA i think this is a great start. Good work on the companies involved

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  8. Thanks for the clarification anon. The FSA is unlikely to take on this type of wine investment as opposed to collective investments eg wine funds and it isn't something the WSTA is set up to do, so it has to be industry led.

    Hope we shall see a tight code of practice at the end of the consultation period.

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    1. It is also clear that cold calling is only 'allowed' for the selling individual cases of wine for investment purposes because it does not come under the remit of the FSA. As soon as it did it would be banned. If the WIA really want to raise 'the status of wine investment', then they should bring their practices in line with the FSA, so no cold calls.

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  9. This is nothing more than a reputation cleansing exercise by people with a track record of dodgy dealings..

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  10. Anon. Your last comment could not sum up this any better!

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  11. JB,

    I think this is absurd and hilarious for so many reasons

    1) as stated above, there is clearly some washing of the past going on here?
    2) Who died and made these guys the wine investment banner holders?
    3) They intend to charge other wine investment companies £1500 / year - which will turn into another profitable ploy PLUS they will bully others !! You can already see it happening 'if you are not a WIA member then you are not reputable'....
    4) This is such nutts, would you have an burglar as the head of your neighbourhood watch?????
    5) Cold calling will not be banned by them because ALL of them use this technique to find new customers....
    6) Let me get this straight - are they likely to approve a 'competitor' to have a WIA badge /certificate / hat/ blue peter badge, etc....
    7) Unless a 3rd party comes in, what's the point !!! Shoot Jim could start saying that he speaks for all wine bloggers, and that without his stamp of approval - other wine blogs are null and void - MADNESS !!!!!!
    8) Personally I think these boys are digging their own grave....one mistake, one client screwed over, one call recorded of hard selling, and this house of cards is over......

    TAKE A FLYING JUMP WIA

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    1. Anon. It is Mazars through the audit who becomes a member not the founders. It is very unfortunate that the WIA has chosen not to put the code of conduct and other details on their site. This would have been much better than asking people to email for a pack. That could have been an additional option.

      Some of the WIA members do use cold calling but Albany Portfolio Management has said for some time that they don't and I believe Culver Street do not but need to check this. Do you have evidence that all four use cold calls?

      I agree that the failure to ban cold calling weakens the initiative.

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    2. Albany Portfolio Management Ltd are the only one of the founders who have publicly declared that they do not cold call.

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  12. Is Peter Shakeshaft still FSA approved or has that been taken away. I doubt Mr Jackson would get approval with the FSA especially with his track record, I could be wrong and pigs could fly

    I do not know much about the other two directors

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Anon. As selling individual cases of wine as an investment doesn't come under the remit of the FSA none of the founders need FSA approval. Peter Shakeshaft is on the FSA register and is listed as inactive.

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    3. If someone listed as inactive on the register wished to become active again, they would need to go through the FSA's fit and proper person screening process again.

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  13. Edited comment by anon:

    This whole WIA is a smokescreen. Poachers trying to become gamekeepers. The dodgy veil of sincerity and worthiness is transparent when you look at the backgrounds of Peter Shakeshaft and David Jackson. I am very surprised that a MW such as Hugo Rose has been dragged in to this.

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    1. Anon. I think this is overly harsh. The audit and therefore membership of the WIA will be carried out independently by Mazars. The Code of Conduct needs to be strengthened, most notably banning cold calls, before it is adopted on 14th February. It also needs to attract a wider membership

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  14. Dear Jim! A Really fishy smell, I have just been notified and confirmed that Herron Fisher has actually sold the Vinanace data base to Albany Vintners! so much for client confidentiality.....

    Also clients have received a letter asking them to confirm sale of wine to Albany Vintners without any pricing attached!!!!!!

    So much for the respectful WIA

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  15. Anon. Thank you. I posted news of Albany Vintners acquiring the Vinance's database on Jim's Loire this morning and will shortly post on investdrinks.

    It would be useful to see the letter sent to customers of Vinance but I would be very surprised if the wines had to sold to Albany rather they will take over management of the client accounts.

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