Wine Name:

Saturday, 5 July 2014

SJB Trading Ltd: 'Wealth of experience?' Firm 18 months old.

'Opputunities' – so important to build brand confidence!

'Our team have a wealth of experience 
developed over many years'

I have been contacted by several people in the wine trade concerned about SJB Trading Ltd contacting their clients offering to sell their wine portfolios. 

One example: 
'Please find attached information that is being sent to wine investors.

SJB Trading have somehow managed to obtain contact details of wine investors illegally. I have received phone calls from three investors I look after in the last week alone complaining about an unsolicited approach by this company..'

Although SJB Trading Ltd claims 'a wealth of experience' the company was founded on 12th December 2012. It has one director 38-year-old Stuart John Barnes. Barnes is the sole shareholder with £1.  Barnes has been a director of three other companies, which have now all been dissolved: Stone Plant & Waste Ltd (dissolved 2011), Sjbs Trading Ltd (dissolved 2009) and Flyteam Aviation Ltd (dissolved 2011).

The SJB Trading website was registered on 25th May 2015.

SJB website registered May 25 2014


'SJB Trading refers to the global organisation, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of the SB Group of companies| One Canada Square, London E14 5AB| Clive Avenue, Orford Warrington, Cheshire WA2 9NX' 

 'With a vast majority of our staff official wine experts 
(including 12 buyers and dozens of other regional specialists)'

Their website claims: 'Location: We are the leading independent fine wine investment company located in the United States. Although our services are open to foreign investors, our location within the United States allows us to meet the unique needs of American investors.' 

How many American fine wine lovers have heard of SJB Trading Ltd I wonder?

An example of an email from SJB Trading Ltd explaining their selling procees as well as their '27 years experience in the fine wine business':

From: scott.manns <>
Sent: June 2014

Subject: Further to our conversation

Dear ,

Further to our telephone conversation, as promised please find below my contact details. I have been a Buyer for SJB Trading for nearing two years and have a passion for fine wines. 

With over 27 years experience in the fine wine business, the Directors and senior management of SJB Trading Ltd are internationally recognized experts in purchasing of En Primeur Bordeaux wines and authentication.

SJB Trading Ltd instruct independent leading Accredited Wine Appraisers from all over the world.

SJB Trading Ltd will instruct appraisal of your fine wine collection for free and arrange for purchase of your properly stored fine wine and in some cases offers exceed the appraised prices! 

Here’s what to do next:

Step 1
Reply to this email with a list of your entire wines collection, highlighting the wines you are interested in selling.  Make sure to include your entire collection as a full appraisal will give a clear indication of your current value. Please provide all necessary information including producer, varietal, special designation, vintage, bottle size and number of bottles. Don't bother putting down wines you know have no demand - White Zinfandel, everyday wines, really old Chardonnays, etc.

You may also send a fax of your wine list to +44(0)20 7060 7418. Please clearly indicate your name and contact details marked for my attention.

Honestly indicate each wine's condition. If the label or capsule is smudged or damaged, we want to know about it. Most important is the fill level.  Tell us if the fill of the wine is below the neck, and if so, how far down the 'shoulder' it is. If there is any sign of seepage around the cork, or the cork protrudes more than a millimeter from the top of the bottle, or the wine level is below the top shoulder of the bottle, cross it off your list and look for another home - we can't take it. 

Step 2:
Upon receipt of your entire wine list, you will be automatically registered with SJB Trading. You will receive an email from containing your unique Customer ID Number. 

Step 3: 
We'll tell you what your wine is worth in today's market. Within a few days, we'll let you know the valuation compiled by the Accredited Wine Appraisers and what we believe it is worth to our international clients and distributor/wholesaler network.

Step 4: 
SJB Trading Offer. We will give you a competitive price for the fine wines contained on your list that our clients are interested in. If you are happy with the offer we proceed to pre purchase phase.

Step 5: 
Pre Purchase Phase. Your wine is underwritten and insured with independent insurance underwriters. You ship the wine to our bonded warehouse. SJB Trading will incur the transportation costs.
Our Client / Distributor / Wholesaler inspects the wine.  SJB Trading together with the purchaser will examine the said wines, in a secure bonded environment. If the condition or other important details are inaccurate, we will be in touch with you to reach a mutually agreeable resolution or will return the affected bottle(s). But this doesn't happen too often. Please be as honest as possible when submitting your list. If your list is not accurate or the quality of stock is poor, your wine will be returned and all costs incurred by SJB Trading must be paid with immediate effect.
Our Client, Distributor / Wholesaler confirms payment terms for the agreed-upon value of the wine, within about 5 business days of receipt of your wine. Usual payment completion is about 4-16 weeks after receiving the said wine (dependent on the quantity and value).

I thank you in advance for your swift response and look forward to receiving your entire wine list.

Kind Regards

Scott Manns

One Canada Square,
E14 5AB
T: +44(0)20 7060 4472 Ext: 305
F: +44(0)20 7060 7418

Screen shot of part of home page of 
Direct Investment Insurance
SJB Trading Ltd use Direct Investment Insurance to value wine portfolios. Direct Investment Insurance claims to be 'The Worlds Largest Investment Underwriters', although the website was only registered on 8th May 2014. 

Website registration: May 8 2014 

One part of the SJB website that is worth reading:

'information is not guartanteed to be accurate' 

'NOTE: SJB Trading does not offer financial advice nor are they regulated by the FCA. This website provides general information about SJB Trading Ltd and is not intended to offer investment  advice. Furthermore, the information on this website is not guaranteed to be accurate or current and is not sufficient to be the basis for sound investment decisions.'   

Permission to use this coat of arms?


  1. Jim,

    Have you seen on the website they can't even spell with a column heading "Opputunities". It wouldn't fill you with much confidence if you were giving them information about your wine investments.

  2. Anon. Yes have highlighted this.

  3. You under estimate them. After all, they're using the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom as their logo. Given that usage is vigorously controlled, they must have been granted a warrant by the Queen herself. Impressive stuff.

  4. This comment first appeared on: En primeur (

    30th June 2014


    I am in the trade. Forgive the anonymity, but i am concerned about tit-for-tat posts.

    A company called SJB Trading has been approaching a number of my clients making impossibly over the top bids for their wine.

    They somehow know which wines my clients hold, and the approach is made by a cold call followed up by a relentless hard sell.

    To put this into context, the latest client was offered £50,000 for a portfolio which in reality has a replacement value of little more that £20,000, and for which I would likely offer about £16 or £17,000.

    It seems pretty clear to me that anyone falling for this trap will never see their wine again let alone their money.


  5. As above this comment has also been transferred:

    Anonymous1 July 2014 15:51

    Hi Jim,

    I too work in the trade and am choosing to remain anonymous as I hardly want to be on the receiving end from a company who sound like complete crooks based on what I've been told.

    Similarly to the other anonymous poster above, one of my clients has been approached by SJB Trading Wines Ltd. How they were aware of my client's portfolio holdings is unknown, they may have provided some details or SJB may have been aware from other sources. What my client has shown me is quite frankly alarming and outrageous. They have used a FAKE 'insurance underwriting' firm to 'value' the wines, sending the valuation as a forward under their own email address. The insurance firm is called 'Direct Investment Insurance' and claim to be "The World's Largest Investment Underwriters". The email sign off has contact information including an address - One Canada Square (of course) - and a phone number which is disconnected. Their website link does work and takes you straight through to a very poorly designed site with spelling and grammatical errors, as well as phony information on the company's ownership and credentials. Canary Wharf Group (who own One Canada Square) have denied any knowledge of either Direct Investment Insurance being present and even the receptionist for the Regus and Abbey virtual office floors claims to never heard of the company before!

    There is zero trace of the company in the Companies House records or the FCA registration.

    The email from the so-called insurance company states: "This appraisal is made on the bases that the condition of the above fine wine meets the purchase requirements of the Liv | Ex fine wine exchange."

    This is rich, as The London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) is completely unaware of Direct Investment Insurance and had only the day before been made aware of the name SJB Trading Wines, when a fellow member contacted them to make a complaint about making false valuations using the Liv-ex name!

    The client in question has a portfolio of wines valued around £18-19k, with SJB offering a 'cash payment' of £32k following delivery of the wines to their LCB account. LCB you say? The Director of London City Bond claims there is no such company holding an account, at any of their sites, and that there never has been!!!!

    This is blatantly another scam, similar to that of Mayfair Worldwide Trading earlier this year. My client was very close to taking them up on their "very attractive offer", fortunately his brain reminded him when something sounds to good to be true...........

    Please publish something on these scam artists before they fleece anybody. If you'd like me to forward the offending emails to you, please reply with the best email for you below and I'll do so.

  6. Another transferred comment (1st July 2014):

    As per the previous poster. I to am in the trade. I have had calls in the last couple of days from Clients that have also been approached by SJB Trading Limited. They have somehow managed to get contact details of these Clients illegally,and are offering to buy Clients wines at at least 30% over the current market prices. They must transfer their wines to SJB's storage account.

    It's very likely these Client's will not see their wine again, let alone receive the proceeds from their wines.
    Investor's should avoid SJB Trading!!!

  7. Jim
    I wondered how long it would be before any comments were made about SJB Trading. They phone me regularly but I never answer. My only contact with the wine trade was through Morgan Aston Ford = Vinance who went bust. The calls started after this so I assume a survivor escaped with the customer list. This was not supposed to happen so I assume the list was obtained illegally.
    Does it ever stop ?