Wine Name:

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.'  

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Worldwide Wealth Collections

Fine investigation by the Mirror into the cold calling practices of Worldwide Wealth Collections includes recorded phone conversation from one of the company's closers. See here. From the tone of the conversation I fancy the company might well be better called – Worldwide Wallet Thinning Operations Ltd.  

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Vinance plc: some information from the administrators

Here are answers to some initial questions I put to Herron Fisher, the administrators:

a) What has caused Vinance plc to go into administration?
It appears that part of the cause for going into administration was poor management of the business, however as the situation has just been handed over to Herron Fisher the full details of the issue have yet to be firmly established.
 b) Are some of the wines outstanding Bordeaux en primeur orders. If so from what vintages and how much money is involved? Are Vinance plc up to date on payment for these en primeur wines?
The exact details on the wine stock or the details of all investments, en primeur or otherwise, is just being established. However the majority of creditors are  wine investors rather than suppliers.

c) When do you expect to have a first estimate of what the total deficiency is? 
6 weeks

• Vinance Plc had a turnover of approximately GBP £1million. This is commissions, not the amount of wine sold on behalf of third parties.
• The court order to put the business into administration was sought by the directors
• Vinance plc has four directors; (3 are based in the UK and one is overseas) and six shareholders.
• It has approximately 1,000 UK creditors; the vast majority of these being wine investors (rather than suppliers)
• The value of wine assets has not yet been fully determined but it is estimated at a few million pounds
• Vinance plc has 10 employees


From comments received by investdrinks there would appear to be some clients who bought wine from Vinance plc some years ago who have yet to be allocated their wine. Hopefully they will find that their wines have been allocated to them. If not then it may be that Vinance plc/Morgan Aston Ford took money from clients for wine that they failed to supply.

There are also some clients who asked Vinance plc to sell their wines and either it took a long time or no sale was negociated. A practical example of one of the disadvantages of paying an upfront commission with no commission when you come to sell. The wine merchant has no incentive to sell your wine.  

I understand that the administrators have found a buyer for Vinance plc and are writing to all Vinance customers to inform them and give details of the purchaser. The name of the company willing to buy Vinance plc will be released tomorrow. I trust that this company is reputable and is acting in the interests of the investors and is not a white-knight operation that has unfortunately happened in the past.     

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Vinance plc in administration

Vinance PLC, which started life as Morgan Aston Ford, was put into administration on Friday 16th November. It is not known what the deficiency is at the moment. Insolvency practioners, Herron Fisher, have been appointed as administrators

Those investors who have their wine is their own private accounts should not be affected. However, those who are waiting to have their wine allocated, purchased or are awaiting en primeur wines will not be so lucky. They will be unsecured creditors.  

In echoes of Bordeaux UK's collapse last year Herron Fisher note that: 'Unfortunately the company records are not perfect and it will take some time for us to establish the exact position.'  

Morgan Aston Ford was set up on 7th January 2002 and was dissolved on 15th June 2010. Vinance plc was founded on 11th August 2008 and took over from Morgan Aston Ford.  
Press release here:
'Herron Fisher, insolvency practitioners, have been appointed administrators of Vinance Plc a well-known wine portfolio manager / broker.

Based in Greenwich, London, Vinance Plc manages more than GBP £50 million worth of fine wine assets for thousands of investor clients in nine countries.

Herron Fisher have now taken over the day-to-day control and management of the company, which was put into administration in the High Court on Friday 16 November 2012.

Herron Fisher will aim to rescue the company as a going concern, or failing that achieve a better result for the company’s creditors as a whole than would be likely if the company was simply wound up (liquidated).

Nicky Fisher of Herron Fisher said, “We will perform our functions in the interest of the company’s creditors as a whole.  We understand that many clients will be unaffected as all of their wine has been allocated to them and is either held in bonded warehouses or they already have control of it themselves. There will unfortunately be some investors who have not been allocated all of their wines and there are no wines awaiting allocation, nor are we able to buy any more wine.  Unfortunately the company records are not perfect and it will take some time for us to establish the exact position.

“In the meantime, we will endeavour to find a buyer for the business.”

The administrators are hopeful that creditors will ultimately be repaid approximately 50% of their debt; however, this will take some time.

Herron Fisher, led by Chris Herron and Nicky Fisher, is an expert corporate recovery and insolvency firm. Between them they have managed the insolvencies of Meccano Toys Ltd and one of the largest illegal banks ever wound up by the Bank of England, as well as online gift retailers The Gift Registry Ltd and Wedding List Direct Ltd.

For more information visit: or e-mail'