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Friday, 16 August 2013

Wine Investment Association: three memberships pending

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

Anonymous sent this to be published on the arrest of Billy Davies post. As this wasn't appropriate for this post, I'm publishing this separately:    

'Hi Jim, three of the four companies involved in the Wine Investment Association are still being listed as membership being "Pending". Meaning they haven't yet completed the audit that is required to become members. As the association went live in February, and it is now August, could the chairman of the Association, Hugo Rose, please give your readers an update? Have the audits taken place, and if not, why not? As these companies are no-doubt benefiting from their perceived membership, yet seem not to have taken - or passed - the key test for membership, this is a question I'm sure a lot of people would want answered.'

Hugo Rose MW: chairman of WIA


Update: 27th August 2013 – now we are two:
Provenance Fine Wines Ltd have recently become accredited bringing full membership of the WIA to two. 

Update: 19th October 2013 – now we are three:
Culver Street Ltd have recently become accredited bringing full membership of the WIA to three. 

Update: 17th March 2015 – now we are still three
Amphora Portfolio Management became an accredited member of the WIA during 2014. However, Vin-X Ltd has become the parent company of Provenance Fine Wines Ltd as it holds 100% of the £100 share capital and Peter Shakeshaft was appointed as a director of the company on 1st June 2014. Adrian Lenagan remains a director.   


  1. The so-called "Wine Investment Association"'s silence speaks volumes.It was set up purely to promote the companies involved, everyone knows that, but now it is surely time to shut it down.

    Vin-X, Provenance Fine Wines, Albany Portfolio Management and Culver Street Trading have had enough bogus publicity now.

  2. To be fair the post was only put up on Friday early evening and even I can't imagine that the members of the WIA spend their time constantly looking at investdrinks especially in mid-August!

  3. Really? I think you'd be surprised, Jim ... I imagine it's something they check every five minutes, knowing as they do the clout of investdrinks and the fact that their scheme has been held up for scrutiny here and found wanting.

  4. On the 4th of December 2012 Peter Shakeshaft (through the comments section of Jim's WIA/Cult blog post) proclaimed:

    "... the WIA kitemark will be launched in the press as the 'gold standard' for the industry so we need to get it right and adhere to the rules ! THose that are not a member will be left behind and potentially lose business !!"

    So 9 months on, is the WIA the gold standard kitemark we were sold? In short, no. With the exception of the few sycophantic founders the WIA kitemark has been as popular as a turd in a lunchbox.

    Still, all you naysayers at the traditional merchants will be feeling jolly silly soon. The WIA members are leaving you behind!

  5. I notice that Provenance Fine Wines have today had the "pending" removed from beside their name on the Wine Investment Association's website - which is quite a remarkable coincidence seeing as it's been there for nine months and as soon as anonymous raised the subject on this site, it disappeared!

    Does this mean they have passed the stock taking audit? Also, I presume the WIA are going to pubicly prove when a company takes and passes the audit, and that we are not simply meant to take their word for it?

    It is extremely unprofessional of Hugo Rose of Culver Street Trading to not even reply to any of these posts. It is actually, in case he doesn't realise it, his duty and responsibility to do so, as the so called "chairman" of this preposterous sham.

    1. I have actually contacted Hugo Rose MW for a comment. It is quite possible that he is on holiday. Thanks for letting me know about Provenance.

  6. Still no response from the Wine Investment Association then: No surprise there. And on this subject, Vin-x are displaying a quote from Austin Healey on their homepage. The quote says,

    "Liv-ex has made 12.5% over the last 24 years compound, that beats virtually everything including gold and oil. For me it's a good investment."

    Have Liv-ex been going for 24 years then?

  7. Anon - thanks.

    Yes the quote by Mr Healey is rather imprecise – no mention of which of the indices he is quoting, equally the Liv-ex company hasn't made 12.5% compound and as you point out Liv-ex hasn't been going 24 years as it was incorporated in 1999.

  8. Well, if you wanted proof of how often the companies involved in the Wine Investment Association look at your site Jim, the Austin Healey quote has suddenly come down from the Vin-X homepage to be replaced by a different quote.

    So this is the way Vin-X work is it? Make wild, ridiculous claims until these claims are noticed by the wrong people, then whip them down fast!

    1. Anon. As far as I can see the Austin Healey quote remains on the Vin-X site.

  9. Vin-X must have put it back up then - but it definitely came down: Perhaps they read the above post and din't want to look stupid (or more stupid).

    1. The quote has changed. The previous quote must have still been in my cache.

  10. Still no news from the WIA?

  11. No not even a tiny bat squeak...

  12. Jim, you may be interested to see the FT are proposing a report on Buying and Investing on Fine Wine to be published 18th October.
    Here's a link to the proposal

    Section 8 reads:
    Wine Investment Association
    In February, the UK Wine Investment Association was formed in a bid to support the sector’s growth through regulation, establishing best practice and setting up processes to help identify fraudulent activity in order to protect investors. What impact has it made so far and what are its chances of success.

    May be worth you setting them straight.


  13. It looks like Culver Street are now a bona fide member according to the WIAs website. No report in todays FT

    1. Anon. You are correct Culver Street has recently passed its audit, so is now a full member of the WIA.

  14. The FT report is available here

    1. Many thanks for this. The FT article is, I think, a fair summary of the current way that the WIA is viewed.

  15. 10.2.14: Anon. Thank you for this. I'm not, however, prepared to post this in a thread where it is not relevant. Given that the WIA still only have four members – one pending, I agree that they cannot, at present, be considered as a body representing the wine investment sector.

    'Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd – appointment of liquidato...":

    The Wine Investment Association, over a year after setting up, are very quiet now: After the initial flurry of chest beating and promises, nothing has been heard from them for many months. Importantly, it is surely tome to ask about Albany Portfolio Management: They are listed as a member but their membership is still pending over a year later - added to this, they aren't even called Albany Portfolio Management now - they are Amphora Portfolio Management. Can the chairman of this organisation, Hugo Rose, please explain to the investing public what his plans for the WIA are, and whether or not Amphora is actually a member. As the four companies listed are happy to advertise the fact that they are members of the Wine Investment Association, and no-doubt gain business from this perceived membership, is it not time to look a bit more closely at this organisations purpose and plans and get some answers from the man whose duty it is to provide this information?'

  16. We need answer WIA! Jim any chance you can repost the WIA post on your front page as Hugo and co may miss it here

  17. In principal the Wine Investment Association, as a concept makes sense - the main problem here is how we go about creating a "self-regulated" network.

    Is it best for those actively involved in the business of trading/selling wines as a form of investment to create the ethos/code of conduct or best for a completely external organisation to manage the process?

    We think not...

    Do investors really take on board blogs such as this or carry out proper and suitable due-diligence prior to making a purchase?

    We Think not -

    Fundamentally the selling of fine wine as an investment is not really that hard -

    1. Wine is sourced
    2. A brokerage/packaging fee added for assistance (of which the client is fully aware)
    3. Wine is sold with complete transparency in regards to fees, potential turnaround times that are realistic as opposed to sale of dreams
    4. Client has their own account opened for storage
    5. Client updated regularly

    The hard thing for many is creating a sustainable business model that allows for them to make a profit themselves. Unless these business have their own reserves, unlimited financial resources then realistically there is little hope for new businesses to succeed.

    Like with anything - it is not the product that fails the client it is the way it is sold and how it is presented to the consumer/investor.

    Information that is publicly available is often conflicting and common rebuttals to the skilled are often easy to get around - for example how many companies have continued to trade and make money even though they have been exposed on blogs such as this?

    Investors need an impartial source that they can rely on and so do credible businesses that lose out to those who have a desire to Rip off consumers...After all a lot of these "alternative" investments in principal make sense however the way they are sold or presented do not!

    There will always be pros & cons - ideas really are a dime a dozen it's how they are implemented that makes a difference!

    1. IP Enquiries. Many thanks for your message.

      I agree that an organisation like the WIA could be a force for good. However, it has to be managed independently of the companies involved. Otherwise such an initiative will be seen as a marketing exercise by the companies involved.

      Too many investors fail to do proper due diligence before investing. With the net checking out companies and wine prices has never been easier.

      Blogs and websites like investdrinks can only hope to play a part in giving advice and warnings to potential investors to avoid dubious companies. Over the years a number of putative investors have been persuaded not to go ahead with unwise investments. Currently this blog has had around 650,000 page views with some 84,000 views on Companies I would not buy from.

      Some alternative investments can be viable, others like graphene are almost certainly not however, they are presented.

  18. Jim, I wondered if you could shed any light on this one. Culver St look to have been wound up and now Vinsignia are registered members of the WIA. Vinsignia seems to have Hugo Rose as a director but not the Averys. Do you know what's happened here?

  19. I of course mean Wheeler, not Averys!

  20. Anon. Thank you for this. The creditors' meeting for Culver Street is today. Hugo Rose MW is a director of Vinsignia - accounts overdue since 31.3.14. Hugo wasn't a director of Culver Street. Not sure how long Vinsignia had been trading as, although founded in 2009 its accounts are dormant up to 31.12.11.

  21. Anon. I assumed you did and intended to make correction in my comment but forgot. Richard Wheeler is the sole current director of both Culver Street Trading and Culver Street Holdings.

  22. How does this affect the WIA?

  23. Anon. If you look at the WIA site you will see that Culver Street is no longer a member. Vinsignia is now a member with Hugo Rose MW as a director and chairman of the WIA.

  24. Comment from anon that went into another post: Hi Jim, did you know that Vin-X now own Provenance fine wines? The entire issued share capital of Provenance fine wines was acquired by Vin-X on the 27th May 2014 and from that day the ultimate controlling party of the company changed from Adrian Lenagan to Vin-X? Do Provenance's clients know this? Would you yourself buy wine from them knowing this?

  25. Comment from Anon posted here rather than in a less appropriate post: 'Hi Jim. So Vinsignia are in liquidation (the second Hugo Rose company to go under in the last few years both of which were "members" of the so called "Wine Investment Association". And Provenance Fine Wines (another "member" of the "WIA") now appears to be owned by Vin-X (another "member of the "WIA") with one director, namely Peter Shakeshaft of Vin-X, Adrian Lenagan having resigned his position in the summer. Vin-x, according to Provenance's abbreviated accounts, are now Provenance's parent company. Curious, no?'